America's Cup: Oracle Team USA win thanks to mother of all comebacks
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Oracle Team USA prevailed in a dramatic winner-take-all showdown with Emirates Team New Zealand on Wednesday to win the 34th America's Cup, completing a stirring comeback that helped make the once-troubled event among the most exciting in sailing history.
For Oracle and its hard-charging skipper, Jimmy Spithill, the win was an extraordinary sporting triumph, one that saw the team climb back from a seemingly insurmountable 8-1 deficit in the best-of-17 series to keep the trophy it won three years ago.
The thrilling final races were also a ringing vindication of Oracle owner Larry Ellison's controversial decision to transform a once-staid yachting event into a TV-friendly, extreme-sports spectacle featuring huge catamarans flying across the natural amphitheatre of San Francisco Bay.
"A lot of people who were never interested in sailing are now interested in sailing," Ellison said at a post-race news conference. "This regatta has changed sailing forever."