ORACLE TEAM USA evens score with two wins as America’s Cup comes down to final race

OTUSA vs ETNZ Day 14 / 34th America's Cup / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA) / 24-09-2013
photo: Giulia CAPONNETTO
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AC34 Match / ETNZ vs OTUSA DAY 14 / RACE 17 and 18 / 34th America's Cup / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA) / 24-09-2013
photo: Guilain GRENIER
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AC34 Match / ETNZ vs OTUSA DAY 14 / RACE 17 and 18 / 34th America's Cup / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA) / 24-09-2013
photo: Guilain GRENIER
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ORACLE TEAM USA continued its streak, winning two races on Tuesday to tie the score in the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco. ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand have eight points apiece, and the winner of the trophy will be determined with Wednesday’s final race.

“It’s not over. We’ve got to finish it off,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill. “We’ve worked very, very hard to come back from where we were. And, the guys want it. You can sense it onboard and you can sense it around the base – the whole team just wants it. There’s this huge wave of momentum we’ve been riding for the past few days and it just builds and builds and builds, and we’re going to carry that in to tomorrow.”

Race 17 began with a double penalty off the line for Emirates Team New Zealand for not keeping clear as the windward boat. ORACLE TEAM USA was able to pull ahead and round the first mark 17 seconds in front. The team defended their position and held on to cross the line 27 seconds ahead of Team New Zealand.

In Race 18, Team New Zealand got the early jump, and ORACLE TEAM USA rounded the second mark 7 seconds back. After splitting the gates, Spithill and crew began to close in on New Zealand on the third leg and rolled past mid-way down. ORACLE TEAM USA maintained the lead and began to widen the gap, eventually winning by 54 seconds.

ORACLE TEAM USA has recorded seven consecutive wins, and trailed 8-1 in points before tying the score on Tuesday. The team leads Emirates Team New Zealand 10-8 overall in wins.

The final race of the 34th America’s Cup – Race 19 – is scheduled for 1:15 pm PT on Wednesday.

“You just have to approach it like every other race,” said tactician Ben Ainslie regarding the winner-take-all final race. “You really have to go out and go through the same preparations with the boat, the maintenance, in the morning meetings, and with the pre-start warm-up. And of course, like every other race, the guys will give it everything all the way to the finish.”

In the U.S., the America’s Cup Finals will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network. Replays will be available on the America’s Cup YouTube channel.

RACE 17 DATA
Course: 5 Legs/10.11 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 24:04, ETNZ – 24:31
Delta: OTUSA +:27
Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 11.8 NM, ETNZ – 11.6 NM
Average Speed: OTUSA – 29.62 knots (34 mph), ETNZ – 28.63 knots (33 mph)
Top Speed: OTUSA – 44.02 knots (51 mph), ETNZ – 46.33 knots (53 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 16.8 knots, Peak – 20.0 knots
Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA – 8/6, ETNZ – 7/5

RACE 18 DATA
Course: 5 Legs/10.11 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 22:01, ETNZ – 22:55
Delta: OTUSA +:54
Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 11.7 NM, ETNZ – 11.9 NM
Average Speed: OTUSA – 31.92 knots (37 mph), ETNZ – 31.23 knots (36 mph)
Top Speed: OTUSA – 45.79 knots (53 mph), ETNZ – 47.57 knots (55 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 19.3 knots, Peak – 21.8 knots
Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA – 7/7, ETNZ – 10/6

STANDINGS
Emirates Team New Zealand – 8
ORACLE TEAM USA – 8

IMAGES
Photos are for editorial use, credit: ORACLE TEAM USA. Additional images are available at www.oracleteamusamedia.com.

 

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