New Zealand sweeps first two races of America's Cup

New Zealand sweeps first two races of America's Cup
September 7, 2013, 3:00 pm
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New Zealand needs seven more wins to claim the oldest trophy in international sports; USA needs 11. (AP)

Emirates Team New Zealand came away with a clean sweep against Oracle Team USA in the first two races of the 34th America's Cup Saturday.

Anticipation for this main event has been building the Bay Area for years and the races did not disappoint, especially the first one which included lead changes and near misses between the two boats.

Thousands watched on the shoreline on a hot, gorgeous day on the San Francisco Bay.

The double win was seen as an upset by race watchers who expected the defending champs Oracle to have the upper hand on their home turf.
 
But with Dean Barker at the wheel of its 72-foot catamaran, Team New Zealand was able to come from behind in Race No. 1. He led the whole way in the second race.

The Kiwi's lost and then regained the lead on the windward third leg before sailing away from defending champion Oracle Team USA to win the opening race of the 34th America's Cup by 36 seconds.

The Kiwis need seven more wins to claim the oldest trophy in international sports for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, which held the Auld Mug from 1995-2003.

Oracle Team USA, owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison, must win 11 races to retain the Cup. It was docked two points in the biggest cheating scandal in the 162-year history of the America's Cup.

READ MORE AT NBCBAYAREA.COM

 

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