Oracle USA Wins America’s Cup

Hydrofoiling catamarans in the 34th America's Cup

America’s Cup 34, 2013, in San Francisco. Photo © 2013 ACEA / Gilles Martin Raget

Today’s racing brought an amazing finish to the 2013 America’s Cup with the spectacular comeback by Oracle Team USA. The America’s Cup never ceases to provide a mesmerizing sporting event. As a participant in three America’s Cup series, I am astounded by this year’s event. I was there in 1983 to witness the unbelievable comeback by Australia II. Now, 30 years later, it has been surpassed by one of the outstanding comebacks in sporting history.

2013 America's Cup Final Results

Date of Race(s)Race #WinnerWins (running total)
*Oracle Team USA began regatta with score of -2 due to penalty assessed prior to regatta
2013-09-071Emirates Team NZ1
2Emirates Team NZ2
2013-09-083Emirates Team NZ3
4Oracle Team USA-1*
2013-09-105Emirates Team NZ4
2013-09-126Emirates Team NZ5
7Emirates Team NZ6
2013-09-148Oracle Team USA0
2013-09-159Oracle Team USA1
10Emirates Team NZ7
2013-09-1811Emirates Team NZ8
2013-09-1912Oracle Team USA2
2013-09-2013Oracle Team USA3
2013-09-2214Oracle Team USA4
15Oracle Team USA5
2013-09-2316Oracle Team USA6
2013-09-2417Oracle Team USA7
18Oracle Team USA8
2013-09-2519Oracle Team USA9 WINNER
First team to win 9 races wins the America’s Cup

The America’s Cup is the oldest sporting trophy in the world. In 1851, the yacht America, representing the New York Yacht Club, sailed to England and won what became known as the Hundred Guinea Cup. The trophy was then renamed the America’s Cup after her. The New York Yacht Club retained the cup for 132 years, the longest winning streak in sporting history.

Australia II winged keel

Australia II winged keel. Photo: User:Ctbolt, Wikipedia

A Previous Notable Win from Behind

In 1983 the yacht Australia II broke this reign. Australia II was revolutionary in design being the first 12 meter class yacht to have a winged keel. This made her fast but despite this she found herself down 1-3 at one point in a best-of-seven series. Australia II clawed her way back to unseat the cup 4-3 and break the NYYC reign.

Today Oracle USA has clawed her way back from a deeper hole than did Australia II in 1983. The series was to be a best of 17 races but Oracle found herself in a bigger hole before the series started. Due to the assessment of a two race penalty for some rules infringements in a different event, Oracle needed to win not nine races, but eleven, to retain the Cup. Oracle USA, the defender of the America’s Cup after winning it in 2010, did not have the benefit of the warm-up elimination races like the New Zealand team and started slower and fell far behind on the scoreboard. It was to the point where New Zealand had eight wins and only needed to win one more while Oracle had to win eight straight.

Over the last week Oracle has completed this impossible task by improving their boatspeed and tactics through hard work and persistence to climb this impossible hill and clinch the breathtaking series. The 72 foot long hydrofoiling catamarans have been an eye-opening spectacle to watch. With a wing sail the size of a 747 airplane wing on end, and the boats travelling three times the speed of the wind, lifting out of the water on hydrofoils, they were flying in their own right.

34th America’s Cup Race-by-Race Archive

Click to Scuttlebutt for information on the individual races in this 2013 America’s Cup series.

Oracle USA Wins America’s Cup was last modified: August 6th, 2014 by Philip Thompson
This entry was posted in Yacht Racing and tagged by Philip Thompson. Bookmark the permalink.

About Philip Thompson

is an accomplished sailor and businessman who hails from Australia. He has raced boats from Lasers to handicap fleet keelboats and skippered the America’s Cup yachts South Australia (KA-8), Steak ’n Kidney (KA-14), and Challenge Australia (AUS-17).

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