25 Sep 2013

Oracle sweep both races to square series

10:51 am on 25 September 2013

The America's Cup has come down to a sudden-death final race after holders Oracle Team USA came from behind to win Wednesday's second race by 54 seconds, and square the series at 8-8.

Team New Zealand won the start and held a tight lead until just after the second mark on San Francisco Bay, when Oracle overtook them on the first cross to seize the lead, streaking away on the upwind leg.

The American boat's skipper says his afterguard of Tom Slingsby and Sir Ben Ainslie can take the credit.

Jimmy Spithill says they studied just where the tideline was and their huge call to split right paid off.

It's the Australian's seventh straight victory over Dean Barker after Oracle also won the day's first race by 27 seconds

An aggressive start cost Team New Zealand dearly in that race as Oracle capitalised on twin penalties at the start.

Barker and Aotearoa were hit with a crippling slowdown penalty for not giving way at the start, then another for touching Oracle just afterwards - and the holders raced out to a comprehensive lead, which they never relinquished.