BY | September 20, 2013

It would have gone either way, but in America’s cup 2013 Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand by a whisker with only 31 second difference

In what could be termed as major breather, Oracle Team USA managed to defeat Emirates Team New Zealand by 31 seconds during the America’s Cup sailing competition San Francisco Bay. With this win, the team has avoided the elimination from the competition that was looming large over them.

The present victory leaves the defending champions, sponsored by Oracle Corp. (ORCL) Chief Executive Larry Ellison, behind 8-2. The team still needs to win seven more races in order to claim the 162-year-old regatta. On the other hand are the New Zealand backed by Emirates  who require just one.

Adding that the victory was the result of a good start and mistake-free sailing by tacticians Ben Ainslie and Tom Slingsby, Spithill said: “We were able to get a nice jump off the line and from there Benny and Tom sailed a very nice race. If you get behind in a race, it’s very difficult to find a passing lane unless someone makes a mistake and between Benny and Tom, they didn’t allow any passing lanes.”

Expressing hope that his team would bring back the speed advantage presently being savoured by New Zealand, Oracle helmsman Jimmy Spithill said: “Yes, we can win seven more races. We’re in quite a different situation now where we’re clearly confident in our boat and we believe we can do it and we’ve almost got nothing to lose.”

On the other hand, despite one more to go for the cup,  team New Zealand is not taking it lightly.   Dean Barker, New Zealand’s skipper said: “We don’t believe this is over until we win one more race,” he said. “It’s a battle. You have to fight incredibly hard for every point. There are no gimmes out here.”

Earlier in the fight, Oracle took over New Zealand on the starting line and then again at the first turn by taking the advantage to 11 seconds by the end of the second leg. Headed back upwind toward the Golden Gate Bridge, Oracle repeatedly forced the Kiwis in directions that caused disadvantages with the wind and current, extending the lead as the two 72-foot (22-meter) catamarans headed back toward the finish line.

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