Friday, July 11, 2014

Kiwis win America's Cup Race 5 in a runaway

September 10. 2013 5:38PM
Associated Press

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(AP) Emirates Team New Zealand took advantage of a tactical mistake by defending champion Oracle Team USA to win Race 5 of the America's Cup in a runaway on San Francisco Bay on Tuesday.

Oracle Team USA led on the first two legs and then called for a foiling tack, a radical, quick turn around the downwind mark. Something went wrong and the boat practically came to a stop, costing it almost all of its 150-meter lead.

Skipper Dean Barker steered Team New Zealand into the cone of Alcatraz, which offers protection from the flood tide as the boats sailed upwind toward the Golden Gate Bridge. By the time the 72-foot catamarans had passed Alcatraz, the Kiwis were in the lead. Their advantage was more than 300 meters halfway up the leg.

The winning margin was 1 minute, 5 seconds as the Kiwis crushed the momentum Oracle gained with its heart-stopping win in Race 4 on Sunday.

Team New Zealand leads 4 to minus-1 and needs five more wins to claim the oldest trophy in international sports for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Oracle was docked two points by an international jury in the biggest cheating scandal in the 162-year history of the America's Cup. It needs 10 wins to keep the Auld Mug.

Race 6 was scheduled for later Tuesday afternoon.

Besides being hurt by mistakes, Oracle Team USA continues to struggle upwind against the faster New Zealand boat. Once Barker took control, the Kiwis sailed higher and faster against the wind. Oracle had no chance to catch up.

Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill won the start and flew around the reaching first mark at more than 43 knots, or just more than 50 mph. He led by 4 seconds around the buoy and onto the downwind second leg.

Associated Press

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