Superb victory for Team New Zealand

11:57, Sep 11 2013
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Team New Zealand holds a slight advantage during race one.
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Team New Zealand in action during race two.
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Action from race two with San Francisco city in the background.
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Team New Zealand streak away to win race two against Oracle.
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Oracle in action during race two.
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San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge was hard to see during America's Cup racing on Monday (NZT) with heavy fog blanketing all but its highest point.
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Emirates Team New Zealand skippered by Dean Barker waves to the crowd after beating Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race five of the America's Cup Finals.
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Emirates Team Zew Zealand races ahead of Oracle Team USA as they pass in front of Alcatraz Island and the San Francisco skyline during race 5 of the America's Cup Finals.
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Emirates Team New Zealand follows Oracle Team USA around the first mark in race five on day three of the America's Cup 34.
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Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand tack upwind in front of Alcatraz Island during race 5 of the America's Cup Finals on September 10, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
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Emirates Team New Zealand skippered by Dean Barker warms up before racing against Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race five of the America's Cup Finals.
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The foredeck crew of Oracle Team USA work on a head sail after losing to Emirates Team New Zealand during Race 5 of the 34th America's Cup yacht sailing race in San Francisco.
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Team New Zealand wave to fans after winning race seven.
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Team New Zealand and Oracle sail past Alcatrez during race seven.
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A view from above the Golden Gate Bridge during race six.
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Oracle cross the finish line well ahead of Team New Zealand in race nine.
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Team New Zealand and Oracle race in front of a giant cruise ship and the Bay Bridge during race nine.
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Action from race 10 of the America's Cup final.
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Team New Zealand lead Oracle during race 10 of the America's Cup.
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Team New Zealand crosses the finish line ahead of Oracle to win Race 11.
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Action from Race 11.
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Team Emirates New Zealand skipper Dean Barker talks with his crew after the scheduled second race of the day was postponed due to high winds.
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Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker celebrates after defeating Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race 11 during the America's Cup Finals.
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Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker celebrates after defeating Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race 11 during the America's Cup Finals.
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Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker celebrates after defeating Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race 11 during the America's Cup Finals.
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Oracle lead Team New Zealand during Race 12 of the America's Cup.
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Oracle and Team NZ speed past the Golden Gate Bridge during Race 12 of the America's Cup.
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Team NZ chases down Oracle during the early part of Race 13, which was eventually abandoned.
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Fog descends on the race course on San Francisco Bay as Team NZ awaits the start.
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Team New Zealand cross in front of Oracle on the second leg in Race 13.
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Team NZ and Oracle sail side-by-side before the start of Race 13, with the Bay Bridge in the backdrop.
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Team New Zealand and Oracle compete during Race 13, won by Oracle.
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Oracle take the lead in race 14 of the America's Cup.
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Team NZ and Oracle race in front of the Golden Gate Bridge during Race 14 of the America's Cup.
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Team NZ in action in Race 15.
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Team NZ attempt to chase Oracle down in Race 15.
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Action from race 16 of the America's Cup.
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Action from race 16 of the America's Cup.
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Sir Ben Ainslie of Oracle Team USA walks off the stage from the dock-out show before going out to race against Emirates Team New Zealand in race 17.
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Oracle sails ahead of Team New Zealand on their way to winning race 17.
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Oracle celebrate winning race 17.
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An anguished Dean Barker with head in hands after the Team New Zealand lost race 18.
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Oracle acknowledge the crowd after winning race 18.
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Oracle streak away from Team New Zealand to win race 18.
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Oracle owner Larry Ellison celebrates after his team won race 18.
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Race 19 begins.
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Team New Zealand battles Oracle during race 19.
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Team New Zealand battles Oracle during race 19.
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Oracle wins race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining the America's Cup.
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Oracle wins race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining the America's Cup.
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Oracle celebrate after winning Race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining America's Cup.
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Oracle celebrate after winning Race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining America's Cup.
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Team New Zealand battles Oracle during race 19.
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Oracle celebrate after winning Race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining America's Cup.
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James Spithill celebrates with the America's Cup.
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James Spithill celebrates with the America's Cup.
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A dejected Dean Barker waves to fans.
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Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill raises the America's Cup.
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Oracle tatician Sir Ben Ainslie drinks champagne from the America's Cup.
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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison holds the America's Cup trophy aloft.

Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill said his team "needed to go away and regroup" as they used their wild card to call off the sixth race of their America's Cup defence today.

The move came after they were thrashed by Team New Zealand in a 1min 5secs come-from-behind win that gives the Kiwis a four wins-to-one lead.

Under the rules both teams have one opportunity to postpone one race during the finals series.

They can do that to cover off breakage or concerns over a lack of performance.

Oracle waved the white flag for the day over their struggling performance and woeful tactics in race five, and Spithill made it clear it was a tactical move.

Team New Zealand came from behind with their trademark upwind speed to destroy the Americans, and that clearly extends to a mental victory.

"We have to go away and regroup," Spithill said.

"They have an edge upwind so we played our card strategically."

Spithill said they hadn't helped themselves with their tactical calls and "we need to address our tacking".

Spithill was in deep discussion with boss Sir Russell Coutts after the day's opening race. Spithill said it was "a team decision" as they informed the umpires.

"We have to take a few steps and be ready for the next race," he said.

A double-header is planned for Friday (NZT) and the postponed race could be held over until Monday.

But the final could be over by then. New Zealand need five more wins to win the Auld Mug and Oracle need 10 more wins to keep it.

This is a huge psychological blow by the Kiwis.

Team New Zealand's mastery upwind played a huge role again today as they crushed Oracle.

It was another amazing turn of events in windy conditions on the bay.

Spithill narrowly won the start from Barker and Oracle showed great speed on the opening reach to get around the first mark 4secs ahead.

The defenders looked powerful going downwind as well and had a lead of about 160 metres at one stage.

But New Zealand fought back and managed to hold Oracle's lead to 10secs at that bottom mark.

And that's where Oracle made a blunder.

They attempted the first foiling tack seen at that mark, trying to head offshore to Alacatraz, but they literally stalled and team New Zealand took full advantage.

They slid past Oracle and then showed their superior speed and tacking ability, gaining big leads on every turn as they criss-crossed their way back up the course.

By the time they reached the top mark they had a 1min 17sec lead and Oracle were done.

It was hugely impressively from the Kiwis as they even foiled upwind at times.

After their fightback in race four on Monday, this was a crushing blow for Oracle.

The tactical work of their local man John Kostecki was bemusing and their lack of upwind speed alarming.

Barker was delighted with the victory but admitted it came with some nerves.

"It's a tough way to win races but it's working for us," Barker said.

"We'd like to control our own fate a bit more around mark one. They got a bit more pressure there and stretched out.

"But it is encouraging to win again."

Spithill looked deflated on his boat between races as they made a change of jibs, going for a smaller one as the winds lifted for the second race.

He admitted his boat was struggling upwind.

"They definitely have some wheels upwind," he lamented.

Then the defenders played their wildcard, and the action was over for the day.

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Team New Zealand
ORACLE DESTROYED: Team New Zealand raced a perfect upwind leg to destroy Oracle in the first of this morning's races.

Fairfax Media