Team New Zealand staged a brilliant fightback to hold off a charging Oracle and get to within two wins of the America's Cup today.
Having lost the opening race of the day by a massive 47-seconds, Dean Barker won the dog-fight in the second race to claim a treasured 17-seconds victory.
After yesterday's near-capsize and loss and then today's opening loss, halting the momentum of the aggressive Americans was crucial.
Somehow they did that in the closest race of the regatta.
Spithill got off the start line better but Barker held his inside line and the overlap to the first mark and managed to get a good gain, throwing Spithill wide.
The Kiwis led by 11-seconds at the bottom mark and the third leg into the wind became the most memorable of the final in terms of sheer performance.
Oracle, as they had during the opening race of the day, showed much better speed and tacking ability to eat into the lead.
Oracle eventually overtook but New Zealand got into a tacking duel and regained the lead - just. They rounded the top mark only one-second in front but got the better area of the course to work with and tactician Ray Davies made the right calls to hold Oracle at bay.
To end the day 1-all was a decent effort after the disappointment of the first race which Oracle dominated from start to finish.
There is no racing tomorrow and Team New Zealand will have to have a good look at their boat and systems to try to squeeze something more out of Aotearoa because this sprint to the finish line of the regatta is getting nerve-wracking.
- © Fairfax NZ News