America's Cup: Oracle Team USA hit back against Emirates Team New Zealand
Last Updated: 09/09/13 12:12pm
Oracle (right) prepare to round the buoy ahead of Team New Zealand
Oracle Team USA gave a timely reminder of their power as they secured victory over Emirates Team New Zealand in race four of the America's Cup.
New Zealand had overcome a penalty to register a third straight win earlier in the day to leave the defending champions on the ropes.
However the Oracle team, funded by software billionaire Larry Ellison, hit back in the fourth leg of the 17-race series.
"A lesser team probably would have crumbled in the fourth race," said a jubilant Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill. "It feels good to shift the momentum over towards us.
"We want to keep the Cup here in the Bay. These guys want to take it to New Zealand."
New Zealand had moved into a 3-0 lead after passing Oracle during an enthralling duel sailing toward the fog-shrouded Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Despite having been penalised at the first mark, Team New Zealand's 72-foot catamaran eventually finished 28 seconds clear.
However, Oracle responded brilliantly as they won a sprint to the finish in race four.
Spithill swung his catamaran around the first buoy and into a lead that Oracle would not relinquish.
New Zealand skipper Dean Barker kept the pressure on, but Oracle were able to hold off the challenge to finish eight seconds clear.
"We sailed by our standards a pretty average race, and we still sailed a close race," said Barker.