It was a day for breaking records on Wednesday in San Francisco Bay as Oracle Team USA won the America’s Cup in one of the sports world’s greatest comebacks ever. This year’s 34th America’s Cup was the longest match in the Cup’s history. Four of the races rank in the top 10 for all-time closest finishes.
Skipper Jimmy Spithill steered Oracle’s 72-foot, carbon fiber winged catamaran to its eighth straight victory, speeding past fellow skipper Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand in the winner-take-all Race 19 on San Francisco Bay to keep the oldest trophy in international sports in the United States. Trailing 8-1 a week ago, Oracle sailed away from Emirates by 44 seconds to obtain the Auld Mug trophy.
The AC72 catamaran sails much faster than traditional monohull yachts, prompting some people to refer to the Cup as NASCAR on water. Sitting opposite match point for a week, the Americans defied odds and won a total of eight consecutive races (New Zealand’s national betting agency put the Americans at 12-1 last week).