34th Amerca’s Cup: Oracle Team USA wins America’s Cup

Published on September 25th, 2013

San Francisco, CA (September 25, 2013) – America’s Cup defender Oracle Team USA, which had been one loss from elimination since Race 11 on September 18, today won Race 19 to complete their comeback and win the 34th America’s Cup.

The defender had battled through 7 straight wins to even the series against challenger Emirates Team New Zealand. After three years of planning and training, the Match came down to one final, winner-take-all contest. And it proved worthy of its lofty billing.

The early forecast gave worry that winds might be too strong today, even with the wind limit at 24.4 knots (23 kt limit plus 1.4 kt of flood tide). But the wind average locked into 17 knots at the start, and it was game on with the Kiwis entering the prestart on the advantageous port end.

The challenger defended the low lane, and the defender managed to gap up to windward. It was an even start, with the defender unable to roll over the top. The Kiwis’ held a 6 second lead at the first turn, a lead they would narrowly hold on to in what was the most exciting downwind leg of the event.

Blasting along at 40 knots on a long port angle toward the border, when the defender gybed to starboard, the Kiwis gybed right in front. There they were, bow to stern, just a few feet apart, both back up to 40 knots of speed.

The Kiwis were sailing a brilliant race, controlling the approach to the leeward gate. The defender was determined to get a split, and was forced to make a late gybe to get it. The Kiwis rounded the offshore gate, but were determined to get back at the defender to cover their lead.

That was when reality hit. With the wind gusting to 21 knots, the defender was simply faster upwind. The Kiwis could do little more than just watch. While the Kiwis had slightly higher boat speed on the upwind leg, they were sailing lower angles to get it. The defender was foiling with better VMG… an unbeatable formula.

By the windward gate, the defender had built a 26 second lead, which became nearly a 700 meter margin on the run, and a 44 second delta at the finish.

“It was a fantastic race,” shared skipper Jimmy Spithill, now two-time winner of the America’s Cup. “We wouldn’t have it any other way. We came from behind, the guys showed so much heart. On your own you’re nothing, but a team like this can make you look great. They did all of that today, and the whole series. We were facing the barrel of a gun at 8-1 and the guys didn’t even flinch. Thanks to San Francisco, this is one hell of a day.”

The comeback, eight straight wins, was complete.

Video: Race replayPress conference

Click here for complete race stats.
Click here for all race reports.

Nineteen Completed Races – First team to 9 Points Wins
Emirates Team New Zealand: 8
Oracle Team USA: 9*
* Began series with -2 points due to International Jury penalty from AC World Series.

Skipper: Jimmy Spithill (9), Tactician: Ben Ainslie (12), Strategist: Tom Slingsby (10), Wing trimmer: Kyle Langford (8), Jib trimmer: Joe Newton (5), Off-side trimmer: Rome Kirby (4), Grinders: Shannon Falcone (1), Joe Spooner (2), Jono MacBeth (3), Gillo Nobili (6), Simeon Tienpont (7)

Emirates Team New Zealand Crew List
Skipper/helmsman: Dean Barker (14), Tactician: Ray Davies (10), Wing Trimmer: Glenn Ashby (3), Trimmer: James Dagg (9), Bow: Adam Beashel (2), Pit: Jeremy Lomas (8), Pedestal 1: Chris Ward (7), Pedestal 2: Rob Waddell (11), Pedestal 3: Grant Dalton (6), Pedestal 4: Chris McAsey (5), Float/Grinder: Derek Saward (12)


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