Episode 12 Sailing: America's Cup


Episode 12

Highlights from the America's Cup from San Francisco Bay. First contested in 1851, the event boasts the oldest trophy in international sport.


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Transcript


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The America's Cup has a long tradition of producing dramatic

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moments as sailors compete to be crowned the best. 162 years ago, the

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schooner America won the first race around the Isle of Wight. The cup

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was christened there and then. Three years ago, Oracle Team USA won the

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cup. The campaign, skippered by James Spithill, was bankrolled by a

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billionaire. As holders, or the defender, they get to make the

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rules, choose the venue and design the boats for the very next event.

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The idea is that the boats are as close as possible in design, so it

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is a real test for the crew on board. The boats for this cup are 72

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metres long, the catamarans are known as the AC 72s. Foils lift them

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out of the water, accelerating them to speeds of up to 50mph. It's

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produced some of the most exciting racing ever seen. Two boats hurtling

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towards each other with no brakes, scarily close racing on the very

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edge. And sometimes over. New Zealand are what's known as the

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challenger. In an early series of racing, they won the right to face

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the Americans when they saw off competition from Sweden and Italy.

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So, at the start of this regatta, they were match fit. The Americans

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had no warm-up event so they made up their own, building two identical

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boats, racing against each other. One skippered by James Spithill, the

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other by Sir Ben Ainslie. More on One skippered by James Spithill, the

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him later. After three years of development, both teams were very

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evenly matched. It was too close to call. But days before the start,

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Team USA found themselves two points behind. A jury decided the team had

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broken the rules in an earlier competition. That put them at minus

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two on the scoreboard. Nevertheless, the most eagerly-anticipated

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America's Cup began. The first race went New Zealand's

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way. In fact, they won three out of the first four. By the fifth,

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America looked second best. This is really interesting tactics by

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Oracle. I don't know what they are doing right now. The situation

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looked critical. It had come to a head. With no points on board, they

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took an unprecedented step and substituted their tactician for Ben

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Ainslie. Could a British knight rescue an America's Cup campaign? It

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is like taking over somebody's science project the day before the

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exam so I had to do a lot of swatting to get up to speed with the

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different software we have. With the most decorated Olympic sailor ever

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on board, it was set up for a fairytale comeback. But no-one told

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Dean Barker and his crew. You can be a rooster one day and a feather

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duster the next! By race eight, the Kiwis were in for a massive shock.

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New Zealand almost capsized. Oh my gosh! Oh my goodness! By race nine,

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Team USA could now chase into New Zealand's lead. Impressive from

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start to finish, with the fastest race time of the series. Race number

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nine, day number six of the 34th America's Cup belongs to the

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Americans. Too much wind and too much tide had caused chaos to the

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race schedule. With a 7-1 lead, New Zealand seemed to sail through it.

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In race 11, Dean Barker's crew passed the Americans upwind and

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moved within one point of winning the regatta. The question is imagine

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if these guys lost from here, what an upset that would be. Race 13

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proved unlucky for New Zealand as they looked to wrap up the series.

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No wind, no speed, it was like racing in slow motion! Agonisingly

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in sight of the finish line, cup success was two minutes away. The

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time has expired so this race has been abandoned. The rule is the race

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must be completed in 40 minutes. The Kiwis haven't won a race since. Team

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USA's fightback from 8-1 down has piled the pressure on New Zealand

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who have to bear the weight of an expectant nation. Where I come from,

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it is enormous. It is outrating the All Blacks. Yesterday, the cracks

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were beginning to show. It's a foul! Come on! The Americans levelled the

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series. Their seventh race win in a row is a new record and this 34th

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edition of the cup is only the third time there's been a winner-takes-all

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showdown. One of the mysteries of this America's Cup is how Team USA

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have turned their boat from slug to slippery. Their comeback has ignited

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a global television audience. That is what the billionaire owner

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wanted. It is a huge race when it comes to the history of sailing, a

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huge moment for both teams. So both teams must be hugely excited about

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huge moment for both teams. So both what is ahead. We are not going to

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leave anything in the tank. The boys find another level to go to every

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single day. Today I will ask for everything. Of course, they will

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deliver. Having never been behind, New Zealand have been stuck on match

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point for seven days. It is not just the 8-1 lead they have lost, they

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are Government-backed and there is no guarantee the taxpayer will fund

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another campaign if they lose. We have complete belief in our team and

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guys and we can win the race today. It's a big ask, the way the Oracle

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guys have been sailing. It will be very difficult. They have improved a

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huge amount. They are not unbeatable. We know that if we put

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together a solid performance, we can win the race. Obviously, a lot has

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been made about today. It is a monumental occasion for America's

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Cup. It will be remembered for a long, long time. We have to go about

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the business about we remembering it for the right reasons. To describe

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this final showdown, let's go to Todd Harris, Ken Reid and Gary

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Jobson. The current is flooding in so that makes the waves small. This

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is the race of the century. No question about it. More from Gary

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throughout the racing today. We have a flood tide, water coming into the

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Bay. Ken, it is not as strong as we have seen in the past? It will

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smooth the course out a bit. Emirates Team New Zealand think this

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smooth water is to their benefit. They don't like the chop. What this

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really makes a big difference with is in the start box. The weather

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towards the Golden Gate Bridge becomes more favoured when there is

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a big flood current like this. It is a subtle difference. You can make a

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case that the leader at mark one goes on to win this race. The

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obvious up-and-down one-and-a-half times up the San Francisco

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obvious up-and-down one-and-a-half waterfront to huge crowds and then

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to the - somebody will finally win the America's Cup here, Todd. So

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there you see the current, what it is doing. Oracle Team USA are

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already talking about what their tactics might be. I think it will be

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like yesterday. OK. We are not going to go to the shoreline and let it go

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like yesterday. OK. We are not going all the way. We don't want them to

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get on this side of us, do we? No. If he's gone that way... We are not

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rolling straightaway. There's the conversation, Ken. Care to decipher

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what they are talking about? With all the prep, with all the coaching,

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with all the work they do in the classroom looking at video, it is

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just like any other sailboat race, folks. Every one of us have been in

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that position before discussing if he does this, let's do that. They

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that position before discussing if are reinforcing strategy at this

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stage. We will bring you fantastic pictures, amazing audio throughout

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stage. We will bring you fantastic this race. The final race of the

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34th America's Cup as we take you on board both the defender, Oracle Team

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USA, and the challenger, Emirates Team New Zealand. We will try to

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identify the voices for you and let you know what key roles they play

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and there is Dean Barker, upper left of your screen.

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So the big thing today is Oracle Team USA have starboard entry and

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Emirates Team New Zealand have port entry. Gary, is that port entry

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going to be as big as it has been in the last few days? New Zealand's

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very lucky to have the port entry today. With this flood tide, you

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normally want to stay at the windward end in a line. Right now, I

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look for the boats to fight. So, at 2.10pm, the Americans will

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follow. This port attack entry has been favourable. Skippers on both

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teams think that to be able to enter the box ten seconds early to avoid

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these dangerous closing speeds is an advantage. Team New Zealand has

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locked out at the very beginning part of today's race.

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Here is where the tactician will start to feed information to the

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helmsman. Don't be shocked to know that the helmsman is totally in

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control here, using their instincts, setting up, not only to get to the

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line on time, but to try to get themselves in between the other boat

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and the first mark. One minute to go to the start. Team

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New Zealand has set themselves up very far down low in the box. Oracle

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is looking for a gap between the boats. It is called the gapping off.

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They might try to use that gap if they can get to the line at the same

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time to have a better angle to mark one and roll over the top. 35

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seconds, James Spithill shows like he is going to go for the hook and

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pulls it off! Trying to keep a bit of a gap at this stage. He has to

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try to just get better time and distance and roll over the top. That

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is their only chance at this stage. Team New Zealand is down low on this

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line. This is a dangerous spot for Emirates Team New Zealand right now.

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The wind is good, we are all-clear, race 19. One race for it all. Such a

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critical moment in this race. Beautiful job by New Zealand. The

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question is can they hold the overlap? Emirates Team New Zealand

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gets the hold shot. Oracle takes a big dip. How much will that hurt

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them? Both boats got really loose at that mark. This is incredible

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already. Oracle up on their foils. You heard

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Ben Ainslie say, "Nice recovery. " The Kiwis just off to the right.

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Again, another crucial moment. Team New Zealand did not jibe right away

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with Oracle, so therefore it is a Drag Race. Oracle is inching away at

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that lead. Let's check in on the water with Gary. Oracle Team USA

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really hit a bad wave and lost it. Boy, are they sailing fast. They

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have just gone right by us. Oracle have a bit more speed. The big

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question for James Spithill - can he block the wind of New Zealand? They

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trail by 40 metres. This is a winner-takes-all at the 34th

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America's Cup. Flat out Drag Race of two very even

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boats right now, Todd. The boundary will be coming into play shortly. I

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don't think Oracle will have the time to roll over the top. Almost a

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simultaneous jibe as both boats decide to make the turn with the

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boundary on their left. A boat length apart, 41 knots going into

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that. Really, when you are behind, you put

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a lot of pressure on and make the leading boat nervous. These are

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sights and sounds that nobody in sailing ever dreamt we would see.

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This is just a new sport that we are witnessing here in the 34th

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America's Cup. They are travelling about 40 knots, which is 46mph

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downwind here on leg two of five. Ken, this will be a very fast race

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with the winds blowing around 18-19 knots.

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Emirates on the left, Oracle Team USA on the right as they approach

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mark two. What are the options for the Kiwis? You are trying to stay in

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synch now. They were ahead at this stage yesterday and they allowed

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Oracle to split and get to the other mark. Don't let the split happen, go

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with them. Match them at this stage. Tom Slingsby calling out the times.

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It remains about a 65 metre lead for the Kiwis on the left of your

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screen. The Kiwis have done a great job in staying in sequence with

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these guys all the way down. I think Oracle will go for a split

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here. At gate two, the Americans will split the course yet again.

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Man, is this setting up exactly like the second race yesterday. Team New

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Zealand will come out of the right-hand side and they will start

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using that cone to their advantage. Let's see what Oracle does at this

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stage. At this point, the Americans have taken the lead by 20 metres.

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They are down one tack. So still a lot to play for here. Watch him.

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As the American lead reaches 69 metres, Gary, who has the right

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spot? Where is the sweet spot on this course? Position-wise, Emirates

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Team New Zealand have the advantage. But they are sailing so slow right

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now, they have to kick it up a notch if they want to hold on. Here comes

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the moment of truth. This is the moment of truth. Oracle will be

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dipping at this stage, then they will have the starboard tack

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advantage. This is the race that we dreamt of. On the cross, the Kiwis

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take the lead back. The Kiwis are allowed to cross ahead of Oracle at

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that stage. Oracle is heading for less current,

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New Zealand is heading for more. As the Kiwis tack on the far left

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side of the course, the Americans stay on course with good speed and

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this will close the gap substantially. This is where Oracle

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turned on the after-burners yesterday. It was speed that we have

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never seen out of an AC72 upwind. Let's see if they have it in them

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again today. Starboard tack advantage to Oracle as the cross

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comes yet again. They are almost dead even on the water as we go on

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board Oracle Team USA. A big cross, with the Americans

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having the right of way. They will make the cross. I don't think Team

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New Zealand had to duck at that stage. That means that is about a

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three boat-length gain in the last minute-and-a-half. That is a big

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jump for Oracle. We will learn a lot about boat speed here. If USA

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continues to gain, they are a lot faster boat. Leg three of five,

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approaching the halfway point of this race. This one is for all the

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marbles, the 34th America's Cup will go to the winner of this race.

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That is the voice of Tom Slingsby, the strategist on Oracle. He says

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they are crossing if he tacks. This is another huge moment.

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Wow! Not just a cross, another couple of boat lengths for Oracle.

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This is looking familiar. What are the Americans doing right? What are

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the Kiwis doing wrong? Boat speed. A tactician's best friend. Dig into

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this one a little. Copy. Don't be afraid to be a little faster, guys.

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As we take a look overhead at Emirates Team New Zealand, what is

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As we take a look overhead at their strategy now with less than a

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race to go? If they go any slower, you have to keep the other boat

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tacking and try and have them make a mistake. If your speed is even, you

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go straight. If you are slower, make a manoeuvre. Those arrows indicating

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the flood tide, the current coming in from the Pacific. Emirates are

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holding a 25 knot speed. This is it. As commentated by Mr Ben Ainslie.

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Todd, these guys are smoking upwind. They are foiling almost all the

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time. Something that we rarely saw at the beginning of this event.

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Every single race, they have been out of the water. They are using it

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to their advantage. The lead is now 162 metres. They get around the top

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mark, there is no wind under there after that point. It peaked at 27.7

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knots. Right now, that has to be advantage

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to Oracle Team USA. These guys are down the road. Gary, it is windy out

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there, isn't it? It is getting windier, particularly at the top end

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of the course. It is hard to see that.

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These guys have done everything right in this race.

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Nice move by Oracle to cover and push them back. Well done there. Ben

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Ainslie, the tactician on board Oracle Team USA, the man on the

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far-right of your screen, he is a four-time Olympic gold medallist.

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Folks, this is a role reversal what we saw a couple of days ago. Now,

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the roles are reversed. Look at the boat speed - it was almost 30 knots

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for Oracle and 25, 26 for Emirates Team New Zealand. I give the design

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team a lot of credit, the shore team. They have stuck with these

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guys and given them a faster boat at this stage.

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Let's not forget, Emirates Team New Zealand, three or four times over

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the last couple of days have been able to close the race down on leg

:29:17.:29:21.

four to less than 100 metres. If the Americans think they have this

:29:21.:29:25.

wrapped up, give them a pep talk. You know Dean Barker will throw it

:29:25.:29:32.

at them? There is zero quit in these guys. Would you look at that? Talk

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about demoralising. Just gone. Gary, this is - every time they leave the

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dock, they seem faster? They made some improvements since we saw them

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yesterday. It is an impressive sightseeing their foil upwind. Great

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work, boys. Just get on the foil and then we'll

:29:59.:30:13.

do it. A really big wind up at that windward gate. Oracle have to be

:30:14.:30:18.

careful. They can't make a mistake. As we saw during the Louis Vuitton

:30:18.:30:24.

Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand almost taking the whole thing over.

:30:24.:30:28.

No harm, no foul, but to Gary's point, with a 13-storey wing, you

:30:28.:30:34.

have to be pretty careful. Team New Zealand is going 27, 28 knots

:30:34.:30:39.

upwind. That is almost 30% more faster than they went in the Louis

:30:39.:30:45.

Vuitton Cup. Unbelievable speed gains. Makes me wonder, Ken, maybe

:30:45.:30:51.

they were a bit conservative on the start knowing they were that fast.

:30:51.:31:01.

Not James Spithill has ever been conservative at anything, Gary! --

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not sure James Spithill has ever been conservative at anything, Gary!

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It is miracle time for Emirates Team New Zealand. Like Gary said, they

:31:28.:31:35.

have to flip this boat over at this stage. It is such a big lead. At

:31:35.:31:43.

gate three, we will bring them home uninterrupted. It is Oracle Team USA

:31:43.:31:48.

with a huge lead, two more legs and the Americans will retain the cup

:31:48.:31:52.

and for Team New Zealand, they have to find some wind and some speed if

:31:52.:31:56.

they want to take the cup to New Zealand. The boat just about takes

:31:56.:32:19.

off at the top gate. They went for it there, Kenny! Oh, man. Gate

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three, the Kiwis are looking for something, anything, to get them

:32:27.:32:32.

back in touch with Oracle Team USA. They make the turn at gate three and

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they are 26 seconds behind. The boundary and the wind direction is

:32:43.:32:48.

working to their disadvantage. They will have to jive very quickly. The

:32:48.:32:58.

lead is almost 500 metres. The Kiwis are way over on the boundary. At

:32:58.:33:02.

this stage of the game, nothing to lose.

:33:02.:33:09.

Really good pressure from here. Gary, all kinds of records will be

:33:09.:33:14.

talked about when this one is done, which ever way it goes. This is one

:33:14.:33:19.

for the books? Not only the longest cup, certainly the fastest cup. By

:33:19.:33:25.

my clock, Oracle Team USA is ahead of the record by 30 seconds. Let's

:33:25.:33:30.

not forget, it was four days ago, folks, that Emirates Team New

:33:30.:33:33.

Zealand had the lead with eight wins in their pocket. They made the turn

:33:33.:33:36.

Zealand had the lead with eight wins on the last leg four minutes away

:33:36.:33:40.

from winning the America's Cup and the whistle was blown, the time

:33:40.:33:44.

limit of 40 minutes had expired and the race was wiped clean. It is

:33:44.:33:48.

getting lighter. The last successful defence of the

:33:48.:33:59.

cup was in 1992. One thing in common with this cup, there was a Kirby on

:33:59.:34:04.

board. You talk about the speed of the

:34:04.:34:22.

Kiwis. They had it when they won the Louis Vuitton Cup three weeks' ago.

:34:22.:34:26.

They had it at the start of the 34th America's Cup. Where has that speed

:34:26.:34:29.

gone? I don't think it's gone anywhere. The other guys have put

:34:29.:34:35.

the jets on. A lot of time and effort has gone into designing the

:34:35.:34:40.

technology that creates these boats. Vertical learning curves have been

:34:41.:34:44.

talked about all the time. They get better every day. Oracle have just

:34:44.:34:54.

got better faster. Makes me wonder whether we will see these boats

:34:54.:35:04.

again. They are the vision of Larry Ellison and Russell Cootes. A lot of

:35:04.:35:13.

people said it would never work and it won't be exciting. Here we are,

:35:13.:35:21.

breaking down barriers. Never have we seen anything like that, the epic

:35:21.:35:24.

breaking down barriers. Never have comeback continues. Is that a smile?

:35:24.:35:34.

James Spithill, the skipper and helmsman on board Oracle Team USA.

:35:35.:35:40.

He's Australian by birth. He is bringing this thing home. We can see

:35:40.:35:47.

gate four in the distance. Watch the pressure on the backside of

:35:47.:35:54.

Alcatraz. It is not bad to have five Olympic gold medals standing behind

:35:54.:35:58.

you and giving you information. Not bad at all(!)

:35:58.:36:07.

We will get lighter from here. Keep working it. There is a smile. We

:36:07.:36:18.

will get softer here, guys. Don't smile yet, Jimmy.

:36:18.:36:26.

For more than ten days, James Spithill sat down at press

:36:26.:36:32.

conference after press conference and he said, "We can still win this.

:36:33.:36:40.

" At 8-1, he said, "We believe we can come back and win this. " We had

:36:40.:36:47.

a conversation, "What was wrong with him?" They have both had incredible

:36:47.:36:59.

streaks. They both handled their press conferences, the pressure,

:36:59.:37:02.

with incredible poise. We have to take our hats off to both. If you

:37:02.:37:07.

are going to go out here, New Zealand did a really good race. They

:37:07.:37:10.

got the lead at the second gate. What else could they have done? They

:37:10.:37:14.

are just a bit slower. At the end of the day, it is always the faster

:37:14.:37:19.

boat that will win and tacticians aside, over the last eight races, it

:37:19.:37:23.

has been Oracle Team USA. Just to continue on with what Ken was

:37:23.:37:26.

talking about, if this stands the way it is, this will hurt for

:37:27.:37:32.

Emirates Team New Zealand and the nation. I will say this: Dean Barker

:37:32.:37:39.

and Ray Davies and the crew are some of the classiest men you will ever

:37:39.:37:43.

come across. At mark four, Oracle Team USA make the turn for home. I

:37:43.:37:49.

never thought I would say this. Oracle will win the America's Cup.

:37:49.:37:58.

This is incredible. So what was done as a race for redemption, it looked

:37:58.:38:05.

like it was on course as Emirates Team New Zealand led 8-1. One more

:38:05.:38:09.

victory and the cup was being shipped off to Auckland, New

:38:09.:38:13.

Zealand. Here we are, a week later, all even at 8 and it is Oracle Team

:38:13.:38:18.

USA that are moment s away from keeping the cup. -- moments away

:38:18.:38:26.

from keeping the cup. The Stars and Stripes say it all.

:38:26.:38:44.

The comeback of 2014 is complete. America's Cup will stay in America!

:38:44.:39:00.

As the celebration commences on the shores here in San Francisco for the

:39:00.:39:26.

home team, Emirates Team New Zealand comes across the line with eight

:39:27.:39:31.

wins, one short for more than a week, their final Delta in excess of

:39:31.:39:34.

43 seconds. A fly-buy like no other. -- a fly-by

:39:35.:40:17.

like no other. The America's Cup will stay with Oracle Team USA. Man,

:40:17.:40:26.

what a race. This had everything. There are a few spectators out here.

:40:26.:40:32.

We almost lost you there. I'm still here. James Spithill, two-time

:40:32.:40:39.

America's Cup champion skipper. Pretty rarefied air. How does that

:40:39.:40:43.

feel? Oh, mate. It is about the team. On your own, you are nothing.

:40:43.:40:47.

When you have a team like this around you, they can make you look

:40:47.:40:51.

great. They did all of that today in the whole series. I'm so proud of

:40:51.:40:55.

the boys, man. A fantastic team effort. Heartbreak for Dean Barker

:40:55.:41:02.

who couldn't compete with the blistering speeds and skill of the

:41:02.:41:08.

USA. Very frustrating. When you think back two weeks, the opposite

:41:08.:41:13.

was true. We had - the gains they have made have been phenomenal.

:41:13.:41:18.

Great credit to those guys. They have done an amazing job to sort

:41:18.:41:22.

their boat out and probably a good thing for us they didn't do it

:41:22.:41:26.

earlier! I'm incredibly proud of our team and what they have achieved.

:41:26.:41:33.

I'm gutted that we couldn't get the last win that we needed to take this

:41:33.:41:41.

cup back to New Zealand. It's very hard to swallow. A triumphant win

:41:41.:41:46.

for James Spithill, completing one of the most exhilarating comebacks

:41:46.:41:52.

in the history of the sport. I can tell you one thing - it is an

:41:52.:41:58.

incredible te standing behind me. We have faced a lot of challenges. We

:41:58.:42:02.

came together as a team, but there is one key ingredient we couldn't

:42:02.:42:05.

have done it without all of your support. Thank you very much. This

:42:05.:42:09.

is a team that never ever gives up. We fight all the way to the end. I

:42:09.:42:13.

tell you, every single day we were winning races, all you guys are

:42:13.:42:18.

coming down to support us, all that good energy, it got through. It

:42:18.:42:22.

really affected the guys. We are in debt to you guys. Thank you very

:42:22.:42:29.

much. Still, the defender of the America's Cup, Oracle Team USA!

:42:29.:42:38.

# The world's gonna know your name... .. # Seven days ago at 8-1

:42:38.:42:50.

down, no-one could see this comeback. Full credit to James

:42:51.:42:55.

Spithill and his crew. The team boss has transformed this event. There

:42:55.:43:00.

was a revolutionary gain in boat speed, producing an on-water

:43:00.:43:04.

spectacle that produced heart stopping excitement. A nosedive at

:43:04.:43:07.

the start of the final race couldn't stop their record-breaking pursuit

:43:07.:43:10.

the start of the final race couldn't of glory. They are expensive, a

:43:10.:43:17.

winning campaign can cost at least $100 million. So will we see the

:43:17.:43:22.

AC72s again? In the meantime, back-to-back wins for the Americans

:43:22.:43:26.

and Spithill, but a first for Britain's Sir Ben Ainslie, who has

:43:26.:43:31.

now added America's Cup glory to his five Olympic medals. Can he now

:43:31.:43:35.

mount a British challenge for the 35th America's Cup?

:43:35.:43:41.

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