In what will go down as one of the greatest comeback stories in sporting history as America’s Team Oracle have clinched victory from what would seem an unassailable position today in the 34th America’s Cup.
In the past week, they have been steadily gaining ground on the huge lead that the Emirates Team New Zealand had mounted. Through constant adjustments to their 72 ft yacht, they managed to improve the performance of both their straight-line speed and turns, something that New Zealand was unable to do.
During the start of the, best of 17 race finals, New Zealand powered away to a 8 -1 lead, needing only 9 points to secure a victory. It seemed like an impossible task for Oracle Team USA to keep up, consistently losing races by margins from 30 sec – 1 min. That was last Wednesday and since then the momentum slowly started to shift in favor of America, having steadily increased their boat speed to nearly 32 knots (the fastest seen in cup history).
Today’s race was the third time in the race’s 162 year history to have a winner-take-all final with Oracle Team USA winning by a hefty 44 seconds.
As an Aussie living in San Francisco I was quietly cheering for my Trans-Tasman neighbors to finish the job but alas, like the Australian Cricket Team they managed to choke in the worst way possible. My only consolation is knowing that the skipper of Team Oracle is an Australian.