Drama on the high seas continues this Saturday and Sunday as the 34th America's Cup race continues in San Francisco. The Emirates New Zealand team has delivered a massive upset to billionaire Larry Ellison and his team, Oracle Racing USA. It's been an uphill battle for Oracle as they were issued a 2 point penalty late last week due to technical violations.
Yesterday, an international bombshell fell when Olympic medalist Ben Ainslie of Great Britain was brought onboard to save the day. Local tactician, John Kostecki of San Rafael, was replaced after tactical errors on Monday put Ellison's team in the hole against the Kiwis. Ben Ainslie is now tactician, and Kostecki is apparently out of the running altogether. (see Video)
Unfortunately, even Ainslie wasn't enough to turn the tide yesterday as the high-speed catamarans rounded Alcatraz Island for the home stretch along the Embarcadero. Once again, Emirates pulled a fast one, and took both races.
Emirates Team New Zealand leads the series 6-0 after winning Race 6 by 47 seconds and Race 7 by 1:06. The winner of the 34th America’s Cup will be the first team to win 9 points. For the Kiwis that means three additional race wins and for ORACLE TEAM USA it means 10 more races.
This weekend will feature two daily races for a total of four more races, giving Emirates a chance to take the entire Cup race by Sunday night. But, with Ainslie on board, Oracle stands a fighting chance to overturn the lead and bring this race back to the home team. Here's the schedule.
Races 9 & 10 at 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. - September 14
Races 11 & 12 at 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. - September 15
Everyone loves the Kiwi sailors, with their friendly and casual attitude, but let's face it, this is a fight to the finish. If you want to keep the Cup in the USA, show up and root for the home team this weekend. Parking at Crissy Field is free. Parking at the finish line for the AC Village starts at $10 for the day at Embarcadero lots. Better yet, take BART and walk from the Ferry Building for a funday Sunday.
For details, see the America's Cup website here, and the Examiner.com coverage here. Live television is broadcast on NBCSN at 4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT. No live YouTube in USA during racing. For more details, international coverage, and other options see: How to Watch