2013 America's Cup: Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand to win series
Last Updated: September 26, 2013 9:01am
Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill leads the celebrates as Team New Zealand beaten in decisive race 19
Oracle Team USA completed one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history on Wednesday by retaining the America's Cup against Emirates Team New Zealand.
Just a week ago the Americans were 8-1 down in the best of 19 race series, but eight straight victories sealed a remarkable turnaround in San Francisco.
Wednesday's winner-takes-all match gave Team New Zealand one final chance to bag the Auld Mug, but Dean Barker's team were unable to seize the opportunity.
Spithill hails team spirit
The boats were evenly matched early on but the Kiwis slipped around the first marker with a lead as the American's flubbed the turn, dunking their bow.
New Zealand defended a narrow lead around the next marker and into the critical upwind third leg.
However, Oracle took control during the upwind leg of the race - a lead Jimmy Spithill and his crew, which included Olympic legend Sir Ben Ainslie, were never going to lose.
Great Britain's four-time Olympic gold medallist Ainslie played a key role in turning the event around after being called up from the warm-up crew to replace previous tactician John Kostecki with the Americans trailing 4-1.
Oracle finished the race well ahead, much to the delight of the home crowd, meaning they retained the cup and will host the next edition of the series.
"It was a fantastic race," Spithill said on Sky Sports. "We wouldn't have had it any other way. We came from behind, these guys showed so much heart.
"It's about the team. On your own you're nothing, but when you've got a team like this around you they can make you look great. They did all of that today. I'm so proud of the boys.
"To be facing the barrel of the gun at 8-1 down. What did these guys do? They didn't even flinch. It's a fantastic team effort."
The regatta eventually stretched to 19 days, the longest in the 162-year history of the America's Cup.