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Posted by on Feb 14, 2010 in Sailboat Racing, UK, US |

USA Wins America’s Cup, First Time Since ’92

Powered by an international crew and a technologically advanced wing sail, Larry Ellison's BMW Oracle put on the afterburners on the second leg of the second race and left Alinghi in the dust.

There’s a protest flag flying from Alinghi 5, the defender, as it crossed the finish line long after the challenger, USA, so the result is not official. But in all likelihood, the America’s Cup is on its way back to U.S.A. for the first time since they lost the Cup in 1995.

Alinghi held a narrow lead near the first mark but could not hold the lead over USA after tacking.

Alinghi held a narrow lead near the first mark but could not hold the lead over USA after tacking. Guilain Grenier/BMW Oracle photo

USA trailed for much of the first leg but rounded the first mark 28 seconds ahead, then turned on the jets and absolutely left Alinghi in its gas on the two downwind legs. The final margin was 5:26. As I write, it’s getting dark on the Mediterranean, and the boats are headed for Valencia.

Andy Green for Americascup.org interviewed James Spithill: “I feel just awesome. With the amount of work the whole team has put in, to go two races without an issue on the boat, you just have to hand it to all the guys [who prepared the boat].”

When asked what it was like to fall behind, Spithill said, “I was thinking we have a boat race here. But JK [John Kostecki] called a beautiful layline. I was a little surprised Alinghi didn’t try to tack in front of us.”

Larry Ellison said, “It’s absolutely an awesome feeling, I’m very proud of the team.”

—John Burnham