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September 25, 2013

[UPDATE: Victory!] After Comeback for the Ages, a Last Dash for America's Cup


A week ago, the defender of the trophy, Oracle Team USA,
bankrolled by the American billionaire Larry Ellison, trailed by eight races to one and was just one defeat from losing the most prestigious prize in yachting to the challenger, Emirates Team New Zealand. But by winning seven races in succession, including two on Tuesday, Oracle has tied the series at 8-8. Winds permitting, the rivals from different hemispheres will contest one final race Wednesday, winner take all. - - NYTimes.com [ Photo by CaptMonroe ]

UPDATE: Victory!

Ellison’s Oracle Team USA Keeps His America’s Cup Vision Alive - Bloomberg Larry Ellison said his Oracle Team USA completed the biggest comeback in the 162-year-old America’s Cup after cracking the code to the catamaran. Oracle yesterday won the deciding race of the regatta by 44 seconds for its eighth straight victory, capping a 9-8 defeat of Emirates Team New Zealand on San Francisco Bay.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at September 25, 2013 11:30 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

That's a yacht?

Posted by: BillH at September 25, 2013 7:51 AM

Where do they keep the Grey Poupon?

Posted by: Scott M at September 25, 2013 12:11 PM


Posted by: RPF at September 25, 2013 4:15 PM

Oracle yesterday won the deciding race of the regatta by 44 seconds for its eighth straight victory, capping a 9-8 defeat of Emirates Team New Zealand on San Francisco Bay.


Posted by: Fat Man at September 25, 2013 9:31 PM

They keep the Grey Poupon in the beer locker.

Posted by: arcs at September 26, 2013 3:55 AM

Makes me want to sing Barnacle Bill the Sailor. Bix does it better:


Posted by: chasmatic at September 26, 2013 7:22 AM

Our glorious global leaders (yeah, I'm talking about you, Obama and Putin) have poo-poo'd the idea of America being an exceptional nation. I am glad to see that the underlying drive to prove that we are has not diminished one bit. It's in our DNA.

Posted by: drdave at September 26, 2013 8:15 AM

Makes me want to sing Barnacle Bill the Sailor.

Posted by: chasmatic at September 26, 2013 8:54 AM

If our DNA was so fine they wouldnta hired a feriner to fly the boat down 8-1.

Posted by: james wilson at September 26, 2013 10:03 AM

Big composite cats with wing sails: They either blow themselves apart or kick everyone's arse.

Posted by: monkeyfan at September 26, 2013 10:29 AM


The America's Cup isn't really a sport or about national teams or American exceptionalism. The AC governing body removed the nationality rules so the sailing and shore crews, designers, suppliers et al are from many countries. There were probably just as many Kiwis on Team USA as Team NZ

In reality, it's a contest with boats wherein 3-4 billionaires wack each other with bags of money until one wins.

It has been rumored that Ellison spent $200 million to ETNZ's $84 million...so it's kind of amazing that NZ got to match point.

While the AC72 required a special skill set and monumental stamina, other than jib and wing trimming there was very little "sail" handling. The one race in light air USA fouled the halyard and sheet on their code zero. The clock saved their asses. So I'd like to see a return to sails where the race is a bit more than a 3 sec start and a windward beat.

Having said that, as a former sailor and long time AC fan I watched the entire series on NBC/Youtube and three AC races from the shore, it was thrilling stuff...both boats were topping 50 miles per hour on foils. Wowser!

Posted by: BJM at September 26, 2013 1:51 PM

I think it is a slightly tainted victory. N.Z. would have won had a drifting match not been called for time while N.Z. was way ahead. I wonder just what changed for Oracle to rack up 8 straight after losing 8. There was a cheating accusation against Oracle in the earlier small cat series, apparently someone added ballast where it wasn't supposed to be.
That said, the boats are absolutely amazing.

Posted by: Old Surfer at September 26, 2013 3:34 PM

BJM. Sour loser you are. There was no accusation in the America's Cup World Series--it was fact--they cheated. In the actual AC series aboard the '72 footers, one year and two months later after the crime, Oracle is sentenced to win 11 races to NZs nine to retain the Cup. As for your veiled cheating accusation, Oracle had a new measurement certificate each and every time they made a modification to their boat. It was 100% legal. As for your "rumor mongers" statement smacks of Obamatudes. Did you read it on a teleprompter?

Posted by: MarkH at September 26, 2013 4:37 PM

Mark, You may be mistaking BJM for me. I did not say Oracle cheated in the AC, only implied that they lucked out more than a little.
Whomever wrote the AC72 rule did a hell of a job in that boats from different designers and builders came out so close in performance. As a multihull designer who messed about with foils back in the dark ages, the damn things are truly amazing.
It would be fun to see them in a seaway.
The racing rules were very strict in regard to permissible wind speed, perhaps even a little chicken shit considering normal sailing conditions on the bay.
As to the sour loser bit, I'm an American and proud of it.

Posted by: Old Surfer at September 26, 2013 5:15 PM

"...only implied that they lucked out more than a little."

That is a big part of sail racing - luck.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at September 26, 2013 6:27 PM

OK now that he's got that out of the way, perhaps Ellison can concentrate on how to put SQL DB's in the cloud. He's gonna need to sell a lot of licenses to replenish his kitty.

Posted by: John A. Fleming at September 26, 2013 10:45 PM

@Mark H

FWIW-a commenter's name appears below their comment not above it.

Why the anger? It's only a boat race for the mega rich man, chillax.

Cost rumors have been circulating in the Bay Area media for months. Ellison admits he spent hundreds of millions to take the cup in Valencia, why wouldn't he do the same again? He's worth $41 billion...the AC is chump change. Hell he purchased 98 percent of the land on Lanai last year...what's a couple hundred mil for sailing's top bragging rights?

As to this being a race between countries, not any longer...AC's governing body relaxed the nationality rules and there were prolly as many Kiwis on Team USA as Team NZ...including CEO Russell Coutts.

I'm also an American and proud of it but I don't blindly cheer for whomever waves the flag.

IMO-Team USA Oracle is an example of what is wrong with our ends-justifies-the-means culture.

The Kiwis were always the underdog in this match and a class act, however that won't get you the Auld Mug... only the fastest boat will and that takes a great deal of money.

Posted by: BJM at September 26, 2013 11:04 PM

Wow -- ok, let's just say I was impressed with the exceptionally good combination of Team USA's money, boat and crews (from wherever), and leave it at that. If you think the USA is a flawed country and does everything the wrong, stupid or immoral way, no one is making you stick around. Don't let the door hit ya where the Lord split ya on the way out.

Posted by: drdave at September 27, 2013 8:51 PM

Dear Dr. Dave,
I haven't heard anyone saying we do everything wrong, and as to leaving the country, after you sir.
The whole AC thing was a spectacular technical achievement by all concerned. In yacht racing the adage "Money makes the mare go" is relevant, but
I'd say Paul Allen and Burt Rutan's Spaceship I
was a more spectacular demonstration of what makes America great.

Posted by: Old Surfer at September 28, 2013 8:21 AM

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