Kiwi expertise behind Oracle's Cup resurgence

18:32, Sep 24 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.

An SOS to their Kiwi boat builders has helped fire up Oracle's incredible comeback in the America's Cup.

Oracle's miracle roll continued yesterday as they won a fifth consecutive race, this time by 33 seconds, to keep Team New Zealand on match point, a position the Kiwis have been stuck on for six days.

Team New Zealand has had just one win in 10 days. It was about the time of that last victory that help for Oracle arrived from New Zealand via experts and equipment from Core Builders Composites in Warkworth.

The company is a 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of Oracle, producing the wingsails, foils and appendages for the AC72s. It also built the smaller AC45s that were at the centre of Oracle's cheating scandal.

It has made private boats for Larry Ellison and its ties to this regatta run deep - America's Cup Events Authority's New Zealand boss Stephen Barclay is a director.

But it's the design and build masterminds that have come to the rescue of an Oracle boat that was struggling for speed early in its clash with Team New Zealand. Oracle has clearly made huge gains to dominate and give the defenders real hope of retaining the Cup.

Asked what magic components were delivered to spark the turnaround, Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill just smiled. "I don't know what turned up to be honest."

But he was happy to acknowledge the fact that Kiwis were helping beat Team New Zealand.

"We have a fantastic team down in Core Builders. It's no secret the majority of our boat building force is from the southern hemisphere. There's obviously a lot of Australians and New Zealanders and New Zealand have produced a lot of great boat builders. They really have led the way in composites and are leading the charge with both teams.

"Those guys down there have done a great job building a lot of our componentry.

"But it's tough because they are not here living the racing with us. Some of them have come up and helped build the boat, a lot of them are still down there.

"We know they are down there watching and are behind us. That motivates us ... their blood, sweat and tears."

Oracle's gains in speed, performance and crew work have advanced on Team New Zealand at a rapid rate since Aotearoa dominated the early exchanges of this final.

They have tinkered non-stop with their boat; regatta director Iain Murray confirming Oracle has needed new measurement certificates for every race.

Team New Zealand haven't stood still and remain hugely confident in their boat.

But there was a touch of envy in Dean Barker's reply when he was asked about Oracle's resources to fund a game of catchup.

"Well, you have got a guy there that is fairly wealthy running that team," Barker said, referring to Ellison.

"They want for nothing - they have had absolutely everything they needed all the way through. So that resource has made them a very strong team and able to react like they have been able to.

"We obviously come at it from the other side, having to watch everything we spend. We have obviously had to make a lot of tough decisions along the way, though that's not the reason why we aren't winning this last race."

Barker said Team New Zealand's changes would be more about altering aerodynamics and appendages to suit conditions.

"We have little tweaks here and there, but there's nothing major we can do. We don't need to make massive changes. The boat is going well, we just need to sail it well."

Yesterday it appeared to be a decision to use an extra code zero sail up front that cost the Kiwis at the start, with the big sheet's extra drag on the first reach allowing Oracle to accelerate away to a lead they never relinquished.

Barker maintained the final could still be won.

"But it is definitely a battle. There is no question that the Oracle guys have stepped it up a lot. We need to be able to respond, we have obviously spent a lot of time talking about how we can do things better.

"In the early part to the series we were making a lot less mistakes than they were.

"We have to take a step back evaluate what we are doing wrong and how we can improve those processes.

"But the guys are very positive, we know we can win and that belief is going to be there till the very end."

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