'A fairytale that Hollywood couldn't script'
DUNCAN JOHNSTONE IN SAN FRANCISCO
Regatta director Iain Murray described Oracle's miracle America's Cup victory as "a fairytale that Hollywood couldn't script".
Oracle beat Team New Zealand in the final deciding race by 44-seconds to win the match 9-8 and hold on to the Auld Mug today.
Having overcome a cheating scandal in a series involving smaller 45-foot catamarans to lose two points in the cup series and then complete a comeback from 1-8, there was only praise for the defenders today from the amiable man who had the unenviable job of running an event plagued by problems.
"When you look at how Team New Zealand dominated the first half of the final and then the way Oracle came all the way back to win . . . it's a fairytale really," said Australian Murray, a veteran of the cup scene.
"Hollywood would have said this was an unbelievable script."
Murray had fears that the wind was going to get too high to allow racing on this record 19th day day of a final full of twists and turns.
But it settled down for what he described as good but challenging conditions.
"I had my heart in my mouth at the first mark with Oracle doing their porpoise dive," he said as Oracle, pushed wide by a chasing Aotearoa, dipped its bows dangerously deep in rounding the first mark after a furious drag race off the line.
The Kiwis hung tough to the bottom mark but then got overtaken by Oracle's new-found speed upwind.
Murray, who has had so many safety concerns and weather issues to deal with throughout a regatta that included a training death of Swedish challenge British sailor Andrew Simpson, was just relieved to finally get things completed.
"We have got both boats back at the dock," he said.
"Let's just get on with the celebrations."
- © Fairfax NZ News