Storming The Court: Mayhem In The Bay After USA Comeback Beats New Zealand To Claim America’s Cup [Slideshow]

  • Rick Chandler

Best headline so far: Mike Downey, L.A. Times: “Do you believe in Oracles?”

Team Oracle USA has pulled off what some in the media are calling one of the greatest upsets in sports history, winning the America’s Cup over New Zealand in San Francisco Bay this afternoon. Being a land-based mammal, I’ll have to take their word for it on the magnitude of the comeback, but people are pretty excited right now (see photos below).

This is probably the greatest yacht racing upset since John Candy beat Richard Crenna in “Summer Rental”.

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. Jon Brooks of KQED 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.”



americas cup

This was hardly a U.S. vs. New Zealand grudge match, however. The U.S. boat is skippered by an Australian, its tactician is British, and the New Zealand boat is funded by the United Arab Emirates.

And here’s an example of how weird this competition has been so far:

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.



READ: 5 Reasons You Should Watch The America’s Cup Finale Today [SportsGrid]