Saturday, February 17, 2018
Sports

New Zealand one win from America's Cup title

SAN FRANCISCO — The America's Cup is staying in America for at least one more day thanks to the wind on San Francisco Bay.

Not long after Emirates Team New Zealand moved within a win of taking the title against Oracle Team USA on Wednesday, Race 12 was postponed because of high winds.

Leading 8-1 (Oracle was penalized two races for illegal modifications), the Kiwis need one win to take the best-of-17. Two races are scheduled for today.

"Obviously, we are in an extremely strong situation," said New Zealand tactician Ray Davies, whose team took Race 11 by 15 seconds.

"We are one race away, but that same one race will be the same approach we've always had. We've just got to keep our heads screwed on."

New Zealand never trailed during Race 11. It led by six seconds as it turned onto the windward third leg and extended it to 17 seconds as it rounded the next buoy back onto the downwind leg.

The lead dwindled from about 200 meters to about 70 late before it held on.

Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill remains determined despite the odds he and his crew face.

"It can be done," said Spithill, who skippered Oracle past Alinghi of Switzerland to win the America's Cup in 2010. "We've got one hell of a battle on our hands here, but stranger things have happened in sport. I've witnessed some pretty big comebacks.

"This team will fight the whole way till the end, and we won't give up. There's a lot of history in sports of teams coming back from huge deficits."

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Published: 02/17/18