Team USA completes comeback, draws even with Kiwis at 8-8

Team USA completes comeback, draws even with Kiwis at 8-8
September 24, 2013, 2:30 pm
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Oracle Team USA won its sixth and seventh consecutive races Tuesday to set up a winner-take-Auld Mug race on Wednesday. (AP)

Defending champion Oracle Team USA not only remained alive Tuesday, they forced a winner-take-all race in the 34th annual America's Cup.

The seventh win in a row for Team USA is astonishing winning streak by sailing standards. 

Team USA was behind 8-1 a week ago and is now tied 8-8 in the first to nine series. 

The Kiwis have needed just one win to capture the America’s Cup after opening a lead of 8-1 last Wednesday.  They haven't won a race since.

The current score is 8-8.  Team New Zealand started off with the lead, but lost it midway.

Nothing went the Kiwi's way Tuesday.

The team was put on the back foot early in Race 17 when Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill got a late leeward hook in the prestart, which forced Emirates Team New Zealand’s Dean Barker to stay clear. But the boats collided twice, with USA’s starboard hull hitting Emirates Team New Zealand’s port hull, and the Kiwis were penalized twice for failing to keep clear.

They were never able to catch up.

Oracle Team USA, owned by software tycoon Larry Ellison, is now one way away from keeping the Cup right here in the USA.