ORACLE TEAM USA wins 34th America’s Cup

AC34 Match / ETNZ vs OTUSA DAY 15 Final Match / Race 19 / 34th America's Cup / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA) / 25-09-2013
photo: Guilain GRENIER
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AC34 Match / ETNZ vs OTUSA DAY 15 Final Match / Race 19 / 34th America's Cup / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA) / 25-09-2013
photo: Sander VAN DER BORCH
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AC34 Match / ETNZ vs OTUSA DAY 15 Final Match / Race 19 / 34th America's Cup / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA) / 25-09-2013
photo: Sander VAN DER BORCH
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25/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Final Match - Racing Day 15
photo: Gilles Martin-Raget
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Completing what many thought an improbable comeback, ORACLE TEAM USA won Race 19 to successfully defend the 34th America’s Cup on Wednesday in San Francisco. Skipper and helmsman Jimmy Spithill guided the team’s AC72 past Emirates Team New Zealand to win by 39 seconds and retain the America’s Cup trophy.

“This was the most magnificent spectacle on the water,” said Larry Ellison, ORACLE TEAM USA founder. “These 40-plus knot catamarans are amazing. By going to catamarans we tried to make sailing a bit more extreme, friendlier for the viewing audience. A lot of people weren’t interested in sailing, and now they are.

“This regatta has changed sailing forever. More people watched the first race of this America’s Cup than all of the America’s Cups in history, so I think it’s a success,” Ellison said.

The winner-take-all final race started under clear skies and 18 knot winds. Both teams were off the line clean, but ORACLE TEAM USA dug its bows in around the first mark to push them 7 seconds behind Team New Zealand. After gaining ground on the second leg, the teams split the second gate with ORACLE TEAM USA improving to 3 seconds back.

Following a pair of lead changes on Leg 3 of the race, ORACLE TEAM USA took control and maintained the front spot for good. The team continued to extend on leg four and around the final gate to win by 39 seconds.

“I’d like to congratulate Emirates Team New Zealand. They are a tough team, a champion team, and we had a lot of great battles,” Spithill said. “It’s always tough when it gets to a winner-take-all scenario because it’s been such a great battle that it’s almost a crime that there has to be a winner and a loser.”

The Race 19 victory was ORACLE TEAM USA’s eighth consecutive win and 11th overall. One week prior, the score was 8-1 in favor of Team New Zealand. Spithill and crew finished with a final score of 11-8, securing the extra two points required for victory due to a penalty imposed by the International Jury.

“There was an energy and a ‘never give up’ attitude throughout the team,” said Spithill. “Everyone just wanted it and would fight all the way to the end, and that is what produced the boat speed.

“We honestly didn’t think too much about the end result today – all we thought about was keep fighting back, we can do this and don’t give up,” Spithill continued. “It’s really been a privilege to be part of this group.”

The win marks the second straight Cup victory for ORACLE TEAM USA, having also captured the trophy in Valencia, Spain, in February 2010 in the 33rd edition of the event.

Racing onboard alongside Spithill on the San Francisco Bay were tactician Ben Ainslie, grinder Shannon Falcone, off side trimmer Rome Kirby, wing trimmer Kyle Langford, grinder Jonathan Macbeth, jib trimmer Joe Newton, grinder Gilberto Nobili, strategist Tom Slingsby, grinder Joe Spooner and grinder Simeon Tienpont. John Kostecki was tactician for the first five races of the regatta.

ORACLE TEAM USA becomes Defender of the 35th America’s Cup.

RACE 19 DATA
Course: 5 Legs/10.07 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 23:24, ETNZ – 24:08
Delta: OTUSA +:44
Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 11.9 NM, ETNZ – 12.2 NM
Average Speed: OTUSA – 30.55 knots (35 mph), ETNZ – 30.55 knots (35 mph)
Top Speed: OTUSA – 44.33 knots (51 mph), ETNZ – 45.72 knots (53 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 18.2 knots, Peak – 21.3 knots
Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA – 9/7, ETNZ – 9/7

STANDINGS
ORACLE TEAM USA – 9 points, 11 wins
Emirates Team New Zealand – 8 points, 8 wins
(ORACLE TEAM USA was penalized its first two victories by the International Jury)

RACE BY RACE
Race 1 (Sep. 7): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :36
Race 2 (Sep. 7): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :52
Race 3 (Sep. 8): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :28
Race 4 (Sep. 8): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :08*
Race 5 (Sep. 10): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by 1:05
Race 6 (Sep. 12): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :46
Race 7 (Sep. 12): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by 1:06
Race 8 (Sep. 14): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :52*
Race 9 (Sep. 15): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :47
Race 10 (Sep. 15): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :16
Race 11 (Sep. 18): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :15
Race 12 (Sep. 19): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :31
Race 13 (Sep. 20): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by 1:24
Race 14 (Sep. 22): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :23
Race 15 (Sep. 22): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :37
Race 16 (Sep. 23): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :33
Race 17 (Sep. 24): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :27
Race 18 (Sep. 24): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :54
Race 19 (Sep. 25): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :44

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