Updated 4:45 p.m. EDT | Oracle Team USA beats Emirates Team New Zealand to keep America’s Cup.
2:45 p.m. EDT | Think Game 7 of the World Series. Only the stadium is the San Francisco Bay and the tools of the game are $10 million dollar flying catamarans.
With one more win on the water Wednesday, Oracle Team USA is on the edge of mounting one of the greatest comebacks in sports history by forcing a 19th race in this year’s America’s Cup.
Skipper Jimmy Spithill and defending champion Oracle Team USA saw to that by extending their almost unimaginable winning streak to seven on Tuesday to force a winner-take-all finale against Emirates Team New Zealand
AP sports writer Bernie Wilson described the scene from Tuesday’s win and the dramatic comeback that the Oracle team mounted:
Oracle came through a wild start with two collisions to win Race 17, and then sped past the Kiwis after they made a tactical error to give up the lead in Race 18 in strong wind.
All but defeated a week ago, Oracle Team USA tied the faltering Kiwis 8-8 on the scoreboard by winning its 10th race overall. Oracle was docked two points for illegally modifying boats in warmup regattas and Dirk de Ridder, who trimmed the 131-foot wing sail, was disqualified.
If it hadn’t been hit with the harshest penalties in the 162-year history of the America’s Cup, Oracle Team USA’s sailors would be hoisting the oldest trophy in international sports in victory and spraying each other with champagne.
Instead, the epic 19th race is scheduled for Wednesday, weather-permitting, on San Francisco Bay.
Either Oracle will finish one of the greatest comebacks in sports history or Team New Zealand, marooned on match point for the past week, will get the win it needs to claim the Auld Mug for the second time in 18 years and ease the nerves of the 4.5 million residents of the island nation.
The race is scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m. local time Wednesday and will be televised on the NBC Sports Network.
Watch this cool video from the Verge on the awesome engineering and technical capabilities behind “the world’s most dangerous sailboat”: