USA Retains America’s Cup
SAN FRANCISCO – ORACLE TEAM USA won the 34th America’s Cup in a winner-take-all 19th race, defeating challenger Emirates Team New Zealand by 44 seconds. ORACLE TEAM USA won by the score of 9-8.
This is the second America’s Cup win for ORACLE TEAM USA and 35-year-old skipper Jimmy Spithill. They won the 162-year-old trophy in Valencia, Spain, in February 2010.
In the past week ORACLE TEAM USA steadily improved its boatspeed to the point where it could hydrofoil upwind at 30-32 knots, incredible performance never seen before in the America’s Cup.
“It was a fantastic race. We wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Spithill in a press release from the race organizers. “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… We were facing the barrel of a gun at 8-1 and the guys didn’t even flinch.”
ORACLE TEAM USA’s victory marks one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of yachting. The team won 11 races to score the 9 points required for victory due to a penalty imposed by the International Jury. Just last Wednesday, Sept. 18, ORACLE TEAM USA trailed the series 8-1. With the challenger on match point, the defender closed out the series with eight consecutive victories.
This was the third time in the history of the America’s Cup with a winner-take-all final race. Previously, the defender won in 1920 and the challenger won in 1983. Both times the winner rallied from a multi-race deficit, but never anything amounting to eight straight wins.