12/19/2014

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Oracle wins 7th straight, sets up winner-take-all race with Kiwis

Oracle wins 7th straight, sets up winner-take-all race with Kiwis
Oracle Team USA crosses the finish line during the 18th race of the America's Cup sailing event against Emirates Team New Zealand, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, in San Francisco. Oracle Team USA won races 17 and 18 to pull even with Emirates Team New Zealand. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Skipper Jimmy Spithill and defending champion Oracle Team USA sped past Emirates Team New Zealand on the upwind third leg to win their astonishing seventh straight race and force a deciding 19th race in the longest America's Cup ever.

All but defeated a week ago, Oracle Team USA tied the faltering Kiwis 8-8 on the scoreboard by winning its 10th race overall. Oracle was docked two points for illegally modifying boats in warmup regattas.

Race 19 is scheduled for Wednesday, weather-permitting.

Either Oracle will finish one of the greatest comebacks in sports history or Team New Zealand, marooned on match point since Wednesday, will get the elusive win it needs to claim the Auld Mug for the second time in 18 years.

Oracle, which trailed 8-1 on Wednesday, came from behind and passed the Kiwis after they tacked too early and slowed while zigzagging toward the Golden Gate Bridge.
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