Team USA did the unfathomable, as captain James Spithill rallied his crew and their Oracle catamaran back from an 8-1 deficit to retain the Americas Cup with a 9-8 victory over Team New Zealand.
With Team New Zealand needing just one more race win to take the cup home, the boys on the Oracle catamaran churned eight out consecutive wins in the San Francisco bay to complete the comeback.
It was just last Wednesday when the Kiwis led 8-1.
After picking up a two-point penalty prior to the start of the finals, the Americans wound up wining 11 of the 19 races.
From that massive penalty to the most recent stunning performance from Team USA, there is no denying the merit of this tweet:
In the end, this was a great competition with thrilling racing filled with lots of lead changes.
Wednesday, Sept. 25
A large part of Oracle's comeback involved the Americans grabbing the lead with better starts. However, the Kiwis nailed the start in the final race and had an early advantage.
That advantage grew quickly after the start when the Oracle catamaran plunged into the water. Spithill guided the boat back on top of the water, but the momentum was slowed.
The Americans split the race, and at that point had better speed than the Kiwis. However, the Kiwis retained the lead when the boats first crossed. At the second cross, the Americans had stolen a slight lead.
It was time for the Oracle catamaran to turn on the afterburners.
By the time the Americans hit the home stretch, this race was all but over.
Bugger. #AmericasCup— John Key (@johnkeypm) September 25, 2013
This was just another exciting race in what was a thrilling Americas Cup.
Tuesday, Sept. 24
The weather was cooperating with racing on Tuesday:
This race was essentially determined at the start. The Kiwis failed to keep clear of the Americans in the prestart, as the windward boat, and this had them picking up two penalties.
Team New Zealand's gaffe at the start was understandable. The Kiwis had to try to do something as Oracle had been getting off to better starts in its comeback. However, this strategy backfired, and Team New Zealand began in a big hole.
The Kiwis showed good speed during the race, but they had no chance of overcoming the early penalty.
After a string of races that saw Team New Zealand fall behind the Americans at the start, the Kiwis finally grabbed an early lead.
The Kiwis held that lead through the second leg. However, on the third leg, the Americans made their move.
It was a thrilling pass that saw the Americans take the lead, and they did not look back.
Monday, Sept. 23
With the wind not cooperating, racing was delayed on Monday. This reduced the day's action to one race.
The Americans got off to a nice start. The Oracle catamaran was the first up onto its foils and Team USA held a five-second lead at the first mark.
Heading to the second mark, the racing got interesting:
Split at Gate 2. USA heading toward Alcatraz. Kiwis going right. Which side will pay off?— America's Cup (@americascup) September 23, 2013
The Americans were able to maintain their lead, and when the boats hit the third leg, Team USA increased its advantage.
Team USA was never seriously threatened after this point, and the Americans cruised across the finish line first to ensure there will be more racing in this suddenly thrilling America's Cup.
Sunday, Sept. 22
Oracle forced Team New Zealand wide on the first mark in this race. That allowed them to open up an early advantage.
As they have on many occasions in this competition, the Kiwis made up ground on the upwind leg. Skipper James Spithill had the Americans tack twice to position for a nice run going downwind. Yet, New Zealand still was closing the gap.
However, that came to an end when the Kiwis hit a dead spot. Team USA went on to claim a 23-second win.
The second race was almost identical to the first. Team USA opened up a healthy lead early when it started leeward of Team New Zealand on the first mark.
By the time the Americans hit the second mark, they had opened up a one-minute lead.
That led to the upwind leg, and once again the Kiwis began to make up ground. New Zealand's charge continued on the downwind leg, but it proved to be too little too late.
With Team USA making this epic comeback, the Kiwis will now return on Monday and hope to seal up the event.
TIM At mark 1, max spd USA 41.8 kts = 48.1 mph = 77.4 kph, NZL 40.4 kts— America's Cup Racing (@americascupLIVE) September 22, 2013
Race two goes to Oracle. This regatta will continue into tomorrow in search of that one last point.— EmiratesTeamNZ (@EmiratesTeamNZ) September 22, 2013
Racing is scheduled to begin at 4:15 p.m. ET on Monday.