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A lucky break

As we countdown to the 35th America's Cup The Royal Gazette will bring you one fun fact a day about the boats, the sailors, the crew, or the history of this illustrious competition. There are now 13 days until the month-long sporting spectacle gets under way.

At 8-2 up and needing one more victory to win the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco in 2013, Emirates Team New Zealand were clear favourites to claim the Auld Mug. The winds of fate had other plans.

Leading the thirteenth race by a considerable distance, the race committee called a halt to proceedings because the light wind took the encounter beyond the 40 minute cut-off mark.

Winds were light so it took Emirates Team New Zealand 28 minutes and 25 seconds to round Mark 3 and head for the finish line, with Oracle 2 minutes and 26 seconds behind. But New Zealand couldn't make it back across the finish line in the 11 minutes remaining and the race was called off.

In the re-run Dean Barker, the Emirates skipper, gave the Kiwis another fast start, but they eventually lost out to Oracle's speed downwind and a penalty after a close call forced Oracle to take evasive action.

The real difference came in the speed of the two boats, however, with Oracle doing 28 knots to Team New Zealand's 22 in 12 knots of wind, gusting to 15.

“It's very frustrating,” Barker said. “We did a good job in the first half of the run but then we opened the door for them. We know we can win this thing we just have to put it together on the day.”

Oracle Team USA, left, and Emirates Team New Zealand make their way toward the windward marks during the 34th America's Cup sin San Francisco. (File photograph)

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Published May 13, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 13, 2017 at 12:27 am)

A lucky break

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