ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill and his team went out to Bermuda’s Great Sound race course on Monday in a familiar but uncomfortable position – staring down multiple match points in the America’s Cup Match.
In 2013, Spithill led his team to one of the greatest comebacks in sport.
But in 2017 the New Zealand team was too fast and sailed a near-flawless regatta to take the win.
In Monday’s race, ORACLE TEAM USA won the start and led at the first mark, but the Kiwis made a pass on the first downwind leg and covered closely from there to win the race and claim the America’s Cup by a 7-1 scoreline.
ORACLE TEAM USA offers its sincere congratulations to Emirates Team New Zealand. The team is a worthy champion.
“On behalf of ORACLE TEAM USA I want to congratulate Emirates Team New Zealand,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill.
“They were the complete package and fully deserving of the win.
"Thank you to our families, friends, partners and supporters. You've been with us every step of the way.
“I’d also like to thank Bermuda for hosting a fantastic America’s Cup. What you saw here was some of the best racing in the history of the event and you have to credit the vision of Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts for passing the event over in such a strong position.”
Team founder Larry Ellison addressed the team after racing, saying: "I am very proud to be a part of this team. We gave it everything.
"When you compete against the very best in the world, you aren't going to win every time. We did it Valencia in 2010 and in San Francisco in 2013. But this was New Zealand's time and we congratulate them for a great win."
America’s Cup Match – Race Nine Report
ORACLE TEAM USA was set up for light conditions on Monday, in the 6 to 9 knot range. Winds were stronger in the morning, forecast to ease over the course of the afternoon, but the timing would be critical. If the wind didn’t ease in time, the boat would have too much drag and not enough speed.
The wind was near 10 knots when skipper Jimmy Spithill pulled the trigger on the startline perfectly on this prestart, gapped off to windward and hitting the line with speed. Spithill led at mark one by 4-seconds.
But on the first gybe, Team New Zealand took up the inside track above ORACLE TEAM USA and made a pass to lead into the first gate by 5-seconds. Spithill and Slingsby made a call for a difficult double gybe at the end of the leg to get a split on the upwind but the boat was slow coming out of the maneuver and the Kiwis pushed further ahead.
ORACLE TEAM USA attempted to split as often as possible in an effort to get passed, but it wasn’t possible. Emirates Team New Zealand win the 35th America’s Cup 7-1.
Crew list for Race Nine:
Skipper / Helmsman -- Jimmy Spithill
Wing Trimmer -- Kyle Langford
Tactician / Grinder -- Tom Slingsby
Grinder -- Louis Sinclair
Grinder – Kinley Fowler
Grinder -- Ky Hurst