Team leader Jimmy Spithill and his mates aboard Oracle Team USA trounced Dean Barker's Emirates Team New Zealand to win America's cup today, it was reported by Associated Press.
In what was fated to be a stunning loss for information technology billionaire Larry Ellison's cynosure, the two 72-foot, space-age catamarans made an all out effort to sprint around San Francisco Bay on a five-leg course highlighted by the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
A stunned Emirates Team New Zealand was gracious in its defeat:
Thank you New Zealand. We are humbled. This video says things better than we can right now. http://t.co/A0V0IBB55Y
— EmiratesTeamNZ (@EmiratesTeamNZ) September 26, 2013
Staring at defeat barely a week ago, Oracle was tied with the reckless Kiwis 8-8 on the scoreboard and survived slashing of two points when Spithill's teammate Dirk de Ridder was caught and disqualified for illegally modifying the boats in warmup regattas.
The momentum picked up on Tuesday, when Team Oracle USA survived a wild start with two collisions to win Race Number 17, and then sailed past the boys from New Zealand after they made a mistake to surrender the lead in Race 18 in midst of strong winds.
"Never giving up," said a down but combative Spithill, whose lavishly funded team had witnessed capsizing boats and destroyed wing sails during last October, slicing off four precious months of training time.
"I really feel it's because we've been through such hard times in this campaign that it's prepared us for this situation...I spoke yesterday a lot about the capsize and stuff like that and what went on before this regatta. This team has just been through so much and some incredibly difficult times. Those were key moments, we needed those key moments to prepare us as a team," Spithill further added.
Emirates Team New Zealand's Barker had this to say, "I think it's fairly clear to see that we could have tacked pretty much anywhere and we would have been behind at the end of that leg...They were going pretty damn well. This was the first time that we've recognized that there was a condition where we're maybe not as strong as we need to be. It's tough because you're doing everything you can. The guys never gave up, but clearly the Oracle guys were going pretty well in that stuff."
Finally, with one daredevil push in a winner-take-all finale Wednesday, team USA managed to retain the illustrious Auld Mug in chasing one of the greatest comebacks in sailing sports history. "I'm going to rank it No. 1. We never gave up," skipper Jimmy Spithill said. Here is the winning tweet from the team:
— ORACLE TEAM USA (@OracleTeamUSA) September 25, 2013
Team owner Larry Ellison Ellison said it was too early to determine whether the next America's Cup will be in San Francisco. He jokingly speculated that it might be around Lanai, the Hawaiian island he purchased with his billions in 2012. Regardless, "This regatta has changed sailing forever," Ellison exclaimed.
If you want to hear more from Team USA, tune in to Today's Show tomorrow to get a firsthand account of the spectacular finish.
— ORACLE TEAM USA (@OracleTeamUSA) September 26, 2013