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Ainslie and Oracle set up sensational America's Cup finish
7:41am Wednesday 25th September 2013 in Sport
Sir Ben Ainslie and the rest of Oracle Team USA has forced a remarkable winner-take-all final race for the 34th America's Cup after posting a come-from-behind win in Race 18 last night.
From trailing 8-1, Lymington-based Ainslie has helped the American team win seven successive races to set up one of elite sport's greatest ever comebacks.
Kiwi skipper Dean Barker started the race to leeward of rival Jimmy Spithill and held the lead around the first turning mark.
The Kiwis kept the lead by seven seconds at the leeward gate but Oracle has speed to burn on the upwind legs and simply sailed past the Kiwis.
Oracle led by 57 seconds at the windward gate beginning the penultimate leg and finished with a 54-second advantage.
"It's not over. We've got to finish it off," said Spithill.
"We've worked very, very hard to come back from where we were. And, the guys want it.
"You can sense it onboard and you can sense it around the base - the whole team just wants it.
"There's this huge wave of momentum we've been riding for the past few days and it just build and builds and builds, and we're going to carry that in to tomorrow."
Race 17 had begun with a double penalty off the line for New Zealand for not keeping clear as the windward boat.
Oracle pulled ahead and round the first mark 17 seconds in front. The team defended their position and held on to cross the line 27 seconds ahead of Team New Zealand.
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