Low winds rob Team NZ America's Cup glory

13:56, Sep 21 2013
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club
Team New Zealand fans at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club in Wellington look disappointed as Race 13 is abandoned.
America's Cup
John Hebberd and Dawn Carter check the time during the first attempt at Race 13, which was abandoned, at the Tasman Bay Cruising Club.
America's Cup
Spectators react as the race is abandoned with Team NZ comfortably leading.
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Two Team New Zealand supporters react during Race 13.
America's Cup
Disappointment is obvious on the faces of Team NZ fans as the first attempt at Race 13 is called off.
America's Cup
Ella, 11 and Matt Wood, wait at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club in Wellington on Sunday the for the delayed start to race 14 of the America's Cup.
America's Cup
Ben Amor watches Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 14 of the 34th America's Cup at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
America's Cup
Tina Norris, left, and Cheryl barber watch Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 14 of the 34th America's Cup at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
America's Cup
Tania Loughlin watches Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 14 of the 34th America's Cup at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
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In New Plymouth, Joanne Pierce and Kevin Kerr anxiously watch this morning's racing.
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In Hamilton, Waikato University students Alyce Michell, left, and Rachel van Rossen watch today's races.
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In Christchurch, Naval Point Yacht Club members watch the yachting. John Cullens, left, Neil McKellar and Rob Angelo
America's Cup
In Christchurch, Naval Point Yacht Club members watch the yachting. John Cullens, left, Neil McKellar and Rob Angelo
America's Cup
It's all too much for this fan at Auckland's Shed 10.
America's Cup
It's all too much for this fan at Auckland's Shed 10.
America's Cup
It's all too much for this fan at Auckland's Shed 10.
America's Cup
It's all too much for this fan at Auckland's Shed 10.
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It was nail-biting stuff during races 14 and 15 for these fans at Auckland's Shed 10.
America's Cup
Tension was high for fans, like this one at Auckland's Shed 10, during races 14 and 15.
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Brenda Herd, at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, watches Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 16 of the 34th America's Cup.
America's Cup
Mike West, left, and Dave Roberts, at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, watching Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 16 of the 34th America's Cup.
America's Cup
Jeremy Johnson, at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, watching Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 16 of the 34th America's Cup.
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Toyota NZ employees watch Oracle beat team New Zealand in race 16 of the 34th America's Cup.
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Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 watch in disbelief as Oracle beat Team New Zealand in race 16 of the America's Cup off San Francisco.
Team NZ fans
The tension shows on faces of the fans at Shed 10 as race 17 starts disastrously for Team NZ.
America's Cup fans
Nothing for it but to hide behind a flag as a disastrous start effectively ends Team NZ's hopes in race 17.
Team NZ fan
It really is this excruciating. A fan grimaces at Naval Point Yacht Club in Lyttelton as Oracle wins race 17.
Team NZ fans
Why do we put our children through this? Twins Flynn and Ari Menzies, 5, hang their heads at Port Nicholson yacht club in Wellington as Oracle take race 17.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
The body language says it all. John Cullens and Willie Newman look disappointed as Oracle take race 18.
AC1
HIGH TENSION: Katie Hakes hopes for the best at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club on Wednesday.
AC nicci
Nicci Wood watches on nervously at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
A disappointed Wellington City Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer watching race 18 of the Americas Cup at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, Wellington.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Bundle of nerves. Nicci Wood watching race 18 at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, Wellington.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Let's hope she's good luck. Lucinda Howard, 2, sits with a replica America's Cup.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Initital excitement shows as Dave Roberts, John Hunt and Nicci Wood watch team NZ lead at the start of race 18.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
A truckie shows his support for Team New Zealand.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Fans at Auckland's Shed 10 do a haka ahead of the final America's Cup race.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Oracle fans at Auckland's Shed 10 ahead of the final America's Cup race.
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Anna Sisley, middle, and Brenda Herd, right, watch the final race of the America's Cup at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
Paddy Lewis at Christchurch's Naval Point Yacht Club watches the final race of the America's Cup.
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Anndy Crisp watches the final race of the America's Cup at Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
America's Cup fans
Naval Point Yacht Club in Christchurch make a toast to the America's Cup after the final race.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
A fan at Auckland's Shed 10 battles to watch the final America's Cup race.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Samantha Dalzell-Matthew at Auckland's Shed 10 battles to watch the final America's Cup race.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Neeraj Lala (Toyota NZ head of marketing) watching and reacting to the America's Cup final race at the Toyota NZ headquarters in Palmerston North.
Team NZ fans watch America's Cup
Auckland mayor at Auckland's Shed 10 Len Brown applauds after the final America's Cup race.

Team New Zealand suffered huge heartbreak today as their quest to nail the America's Cup was spoiled by light winds and a dogged Oracle team.

The 13th race on a Friday in San Francisco proved to be incredibly unlucky for the Kiwis.

They had the race and the Cup as good as won as they enjoyed a 1200m lead in the first race but couldn't complete it in the 40-minute time limit, with officials abandoning racing as the Kiwis approached the last mark.

America's Cup
ONE MORE: Just one more victory will ensure the Auld Mug is heading back to New Zealand.

Then, in the restarted race, they made two mistakes which allowed Oracle to stretch out to a 1min 24s victory.

That keeps New Zealand still looking for the one elusive win to nail this thing while Oracle now need six more victories in a row to hold on to the Auld Mug.

"We were staring down the barrel of defeat there and time saved us," Oracle tactician Ben Ainslie said of having the first attempt at the race called off.

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It was a gutting moment for Team New Zealand.

Just when it seemed nothing else could happen in this dramatic final, another twist was delivered and it sadly came at the expense of Team New Zealand.

They have had two races abandoned while they were leading because of high winds.

But the weather gods conspired against them from the other end of the spectrum today to deny them again.

The predicted brisk breeze never eventuated and the top of the course was shrouded in fog.

Just to get around the top mark took over three minutes as Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill played a luffing game with Dean Barker.

When Team New Zealand slipped them downwind and headed away it looked like being the glory race.

But time kept ticking away on them. They were racing the clock more than Oracle who were so far behind it was ridiculous.

Yet it all amounted to nothing.

And despite getting away brilliantly in the restart half an hour later, some errors came into play for Team New Zealand.

They copped a penalty as they jibed in front of Oracle and then gone into trouble trying to round the bottom mark.

Oracle jibed in front of them, forcing the Kiwis to change their minds over which buoy to round and they stalled, losing big ground.

Heading upwind, they also failed to cover Oracle in one tacking duel and Spithill streaked away.

There was no coming back.

And there was no time to start race 14 - that will have to wait till tomorrow.

Fairfax Media