SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., September 25, 2013 — In a major comeback, Oracle Team USA won the 19th race for the 34th America’s Cup, clinching the final victory for the U.S. team. This is the second America’s Cup victory for Oracle Team USA and skipper Jimmy Spithill.
After trailing challenger Emirates Team New Zealand by seven race wins, Oracle Team USA steadily improved its boat speed to win tie the score, forcing today’s winner-take-all race for the America’s Cup. The team started the finals with a 2-race deficit due to a penalty imposed by the International Jury for illegally modifying three AC 45 boats used in the America’s Cup World Series in 2012. The cheating cost the team two points in the America’s Cup final, a ban of three crew members, and a $250,000 fine.
“It was a fantastic race. We wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Spithill. “We came from behind; the guys showed so much heart. Thanks to San Francisco, this is one hell of a day.”
Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker said at the press conference following the race, “I’m just incredibly proud of team New Zealand and everything that the guys have achieved.” Added Grant Dalton, the team’s managing director, “The country is really devastated.”
One million fans visited the official America’s Cup venues at Piers 27/29 and Marina Green since they opened on July 4, and hundreds of thousands more lined the shores of San Francisco Bay to catch a glimpse of the foiling AC 72 boats. “This was a wonderful match of teams,” said Regatta Directory Iain Murray. “We had a great competition between two great teams, evenly matched, battling it out in the end.”
Jill K. Robinson is an award-winning journalist and adventure seeker. Follow her adventures on dangerjillrobinson.com and Twitter @dangerjr. Jill is an avid kayaker and owner of Half Moon Bay Kayak Company.
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