America's Cup: Wire-to-wire win packed with drama

Team New Zealand were never able to stretch out a comfortable lead over Oracle in race 11. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Team New Zealand were never able to stretch out a comfortable lead over Oracle in race 11. Photo / Brett Phibbs

On the surface Race 11 looked like a fairly comfortable wire-to-wire win, but it was not devoid of drama. People have noted the rather cumbersome rounding of the bottom mark, Mark 4, by Team New Zealand en route to victory. This is how it unfolded:

* Team NZ have a healthy lead at Mark 3 and, with few opportunities to pass downwind, appear to have the race wrapped up.

* Oracle, on the left-hand side of the course with less tidal current, take the unusual action of staying left and sprinting down the boundary line.

* Sensing something unusual was up, Team NZ get twitchy and move to cover.

* Both then were out of position, but Team NZ had the comfort of knowing Oracle had an extra gybe to make to get around the mark.

* In the end, both were very slow around the mark, under-estimating the strength of the current - but Oracle were even slower around than Team NZ.

It might not havebeen pretty, but here's the important stat: Team NZ 8, Oracle 1.

- NZ Herald

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