25 Sep 2013

Oracle comeback continues

12:00 am on 25 September 2013

The comeback continues in San Francisco where Oracle Team USA won race 16 by 33 seconds in the America's Cup on Tuesday.

The defender led Emirates Team New Zealand by 23 seconds at both the first and second marks, 19 seconds at the third and 21 seconds at the fourth.

Light winds delayed the start until just before 8.45am (New Zealand time).

After struggling to keep up with the challenger in the early matches, Oracle has set the stage for a historic comeback.

"We've really got a huge wave of momentum now," Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill of Australia said afterwards.

"The guys have been working very, very hard. Again last night, the shore team were there till the early hours of the morning and the boat is just going fantastic."

Oracle has now won five consecutive races, giving the defender a winning streak that Emirates Team New Zealand is under pressure to break.

The next race is on Wednesday (NZT). Rather than light winds, race director Iain Murray says the forecast is for a strong wind of up to 24 knots, which could again jeopardise racing.

Team New Zealand remain on match point but now lead Oracle by only two races, at eight points to six in the race to nine wins.

Earlier, sports psychologist Karen Nimmo said Team New Zealand was now in a difficult position.

Skipper Dean Barker says they have confidence in the boat's speed, but need to make fewer mistakes on the race course.

Tuesday is the final day under the original harbour permit for the event but organisers say they have negotiated with the Coastguard and racing will continue for up to four more races.