Sensational comeback: Oracle Team USA triumphs at the America’s Cup


Oracle Team USA triumphs at America’s Cup

The gap seemed impossible to catch, but in the last race the Oracle Team USA created the sensation – in the end the Americans won 9: 8 and defended the most important sailing trophy in the world.

D.he Team Oracle has one of the most spectacular comebacks in sports history with the triumph at the 34th. America‘s Cup crowned. Skipper James Spithill and his crew fought for victory in the decisive 19th race against Team New Zealand on Wednesday and decided the nerve battle for the most important sailing trophy in the world with 9: 8.

The New Zealanders headed by helmsman Dean Barker, 41, were blown away by the victory they had already believed to be safe – in the end, the defending champion won after an almost incomparable race to catch up.

Oracle is definitely a deserved winner. The Kiwis put up a great fight, but in the end the Americans were simply better and faster, ”said the German Olympic champion Jochen Schumann, who himself won 2003 and 2007 with the Swiss yacht Alinghi.

The miracle of San Francisco

The “miracle of San Francisco” should not only go down in sailing history, with 19 races in 19 days the event was the longest cup in its 162-year history. Oracle had gotten a two-point penalty for manipulating the highly bred AC72 catamaran before the start, eleven days later the devastating interim result of 1: 8 was on the scoreboard. The "Kiwis" already had one and a half hands on the 17 kilogram silver jug, which would have migrated to New Zealand for the third time since 1995 (as Team Black Magic) and 2000.

“I’m proud of everyone who was there,” said Spithill, who bowed to the euphoric audience at the moment of triumph. “We always said to ourselves: We can do it, we can win this Cup.” On September 18, Team New Zealand had eight match points before the big hour for Oracle chief tactician Ben Ainslie struck.

The Englishman, decorated with four Olympic victories and eleven World Cup titles, was the crucial piece of the puzzle in the comeback. Before the Cup, the 36-year-old replaced the regular tactician John Kostecki (USA). Since then, the wind has seemed to be blowing a little stronger into the sail of the Oracle crew: Oracle achieved nine wins in 13 races with Ainslie, whom they call "Becks in a boat" in England.

Participation costs several hundred million dollars

For Team New Zealand, the Cup didn’t just end in personal tragedy. After the equalization at the 18th race, several New Zealand media reported that major sponsor Emirates was considering ending its involvement with the "Kiwis". The material battle costs several hundred million dollars a year. US billionaire Larry Ellison is behind Oracle.

Oracle’s victory was the culmination of an America’s Cup that began tragically with the death of British Olympic gold medalist Andrew Simpson, 36, during training for the challenger elimination on May 9th. The strategist of the Swedish Artemis team drowned under his capsized catamaran.

The America‘s Cup is one of the most traditional sports events of all. The first winner of the Auld Mug, the 67.6 cm high silver-plated tin jug donated by Lord Anglesey in 1848, was the schooner "America" ​​on August 22, 1851 off the Isle of Wight. The boats still traditionally pass a replica of the legendary 30-meter yacht with the green wooden hull after crossing the finish line.

The competition, which was initially called the “100 Sovereigns Cup” based on the amount of the foundation, was later named after the first winning boat. For 132 years it remained in the hands of the USA, which won 25 times in a row – the longest winning streak in sporting history. It was not until 1983 that Australia II hijacked the trophy, but only for four years. In 2003 and 2007, Alinghi from Switzerland, the only winning country without a coast, won. The sports director was the German Olympic champion Jochen Schumann.

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