Team NZ one win from America's Cup glory

00:44, Sep 22 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.

Team New Zealand's charge to the America's Cup was again stalled by the weather today, just after they had thumped Oracle in the opening race to get to match point.

Dean Barker's crew delivered a magnificent 15-second win to get within a point of the cup in race 11.

And they almost got to start the second race - it was literally postponed when Barker had control of rival Jimmy Spithill right on the start line - only for the wind to get over the 19.9-knot threshold that had been adjusted to accommodate another heavy outgoing tide.

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

The umpire's call came to stop racing and reset the clock for another 15-minute countdown.

It was huge frustration for Team New Zealand, although they were later seen doing some repair work to Aotearoa as the clock ticked away again.

Eventually regatta director Iain Murray called off the day's racing.

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So Oracle live to fight another day, still needing eight wins to keep the cup while New Zealand need just one more win for glory.

That will have to wait till tomorrow as this agonising campaign draws out.

Murray was unapologetic.

"The rules are the rules and it's probably better to call the race off before the start rather than during the race," he said.

What was disappointing was that Barker had judged his speed to the start line perfectly to blitz Spithill and set up what would have been another crucial lead at the first mark.

Barker was on fire in the starting box today.

His work there had set the tone of the opening win, which was a wire-to-wire effort from the Kiwis.

After yesterday's strong breeze cancelled all of the day's action, today they came right back into the sort of range where Team New Zealand have excelled - around 16 knots.

Barker decisively won the start of Race 11 and held off an aggressive Spithill over the dash to the first mark for a 3sec lead.

The Kiwis managed to extend that to 6sec at the bottom mark where the two boats went in different directions for the crucial upwind beat.

Team New Zealand slowly but surely got the better of another furious tacking duel with tactician Ray Davies making the right calls on where to place Aotearoa.

That saw Americans make a couple of extra tacks - and one right in front of the top mark that resulted in Spithill slipping from 30 metres behind to 300m in arrears as the Kiwis sped off downwind.

But the heat wasn't over as Team New Zealand allowed Oracle to dictate terms from behind and with a good shift the Americans closed to within 100m towards the bottom of the run.

It was a matter of who could line up best into the bottom mark and both boats went agonisingly slowly around that turn.

But Oracle were sailing slightly lower and lost more time, drifting around 19sec behind.

Team New Zealand were never going to let that disappear on the last blast to the finish line for a cherished victory.

"The start worked out about as good as it could," Barker said of the opening effort.

"We had a nice run from there and it was great to get this win."

Spithill admitted he had a poor start.

"We were late and that made it hard," he said.

"But the boys dug deep and it was all on right to the finish."

Fairfax Media