America's Cup Finals begin in San Francisco

The 34th America's Cup Finals features two composite-intensive craft, one from defending champion ORACLE TEAM USA and one from challenger Emirates Team New Zealand.

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The 34th America's Cup Finals began in San Francisco Bay (San Francisco, Calif., USA) on Sept. 7, featuring defending champion ORACLE TEAM USA against challenger Emirates Team New Zealand. The 17-race series started with four races over the first two days of the event, which is scheduled to end Sept. 21. Emirates Team New Zealand won the first three races; ORACLE TEAM USA won the fourth race.

Both yachts in the series feature fixed-wing-type composite sails first developed by the BMW Oracle Racing team for the 33rd America's Cup Finals in 2010. The massive sails turn the yachts into foils and allow the craft to race at speeds of more than 50 mph/80 kmh. 

Emirates Team New Zealand staked a 3-0 lead after the first three races. ORACLE TEAM USA came back in the fourth race to win its first race of the series. “It was huge, huge,” says Skipper Jimmy Spithill of winning Race 4. “It’s good to see the team under some 
serious pressure, especially after the first race; we had the lead, we let it slip away. A lesser 
team probably would’ve crumbled in the fourth race. It feels good to shift momentum over to us.”

Racing resumes Sept. 10 with Races 5 and 6 scheduled for 1:15 pm (PDT) and 2:15 pm (PDT) respectively. Races 7 and 8 and will be held Sept. 12. Visit for more information.