Nation & World News

Oracle Team USA Defeats New Zealand, Keeps The America’s Cup

By Scott Neuman on September 25th, 2013

Oracle Team USA has successfully defended the America’s Cup, leaving challenger New Zealand in its wake off San Francisco after clawing back from a seven-race deficit in one of the most spectacular comebacks in yachting history.

A week ago, it looked to be all over for the U.S., with Emirates Team New Zealand having built a seemingly unassailable lead and poised at one race away from taking the Auld Mug back to Wellington.

But Oracle Team USA, skippered by James Spithill, with Ben Ainslie in the tactician’s seat, took the wind out of the Kiwi’s momentum, finding the speed in their giant 72-foot foiling catamaran and outmaneuvering New Zealand on the course.

Member station KQED’s Jon Brooks says:

“They said it over and over: At the end of the day, it’s the faster boat that always wins. Oracle Team USA is that boat — it has just completed what has to be considered one of the greatest comebacks in all of sports history.”

San Francisco Chronicle sports editor Al Saracevic tweeted:

Oracle started the final series two points in the hole after a penalty stemming from the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series in July, where competitors sail smaller, 45-foot catamarans. An examination of Oracle’s boats found that lead pellets had been hidden inside of forward support posts, apparently to aid in keeping the finicky multihulls upright in stronger wind.

Speaking on Tuesday, after winning two races to tie up the series, Spithill said the exciting thing for him was “seeing how this team has gelled together.”

“Sometimes you need to face that barrel of the gun to come together,” he said. “You can get wobbly in the knees or you can look into the barrel. Every day we’ve managed to step it up more.”

Although nationalism still plays a key role in the competition, the teams are international in character: Oracle’s skipper is an Australian and the tactician is from the U.K. The team is sponsored by software billionaire Larry Ellison’s company. Emirates Team New Zealand is backed by the Dubai-based airline.

The America’s Cup is the oldest and most prestigious trophy in yachting and stems from an 1851 contest between the schooner America and an English rival around the Isle of Wight. America won the race and the United States successfully defended the Cup for the next 132 years until Australia took it in 1983. Since then it has changed hands several times.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Oklahoma Approves Nitrogen Asphyxiation For Executions

The new method was proposed after the botched execution by lethal injection last year of an Oklahoma inmate.


First-Place Fake-Out: Woman Who Didn’t Run Marathon Stripped Of Title

Race officials say Kendall Schler faked her win at last Sunday’s GO! St. Louis race. They say she also cheated in last year’s race where she finished third.


A troop of chimpanzees in Uganda has learned to look both ways before crossing a busy highway.

WATCH: Chimps In Uganda Look Both Ways Before Crossing

A 29-month study of chimpanzees in Uganda’s Kibale National Park reveals that many have learned a valuable survival skill — to look both ways before crossing a busy highway.


Freighters wait to unload cargo at the Tanjung Pagar container port in Singapore.

Why A Blockbuster Of A Trade Deal With Asia Matters

Congress is giving President Obama new powers to help seal the deal on an ambitious Asia-Pacific free trade agreement, a move that angers many Democrats and unions.


U.N., Oxfam Report At Least 120,000 Displaced In Yemen Fighting

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says estimates for the number of internally displaced persons ranges from 120,000 to 150,000. Separately, Oxfam puts the figure at 121,000.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments