The US has won the 34th America's Cup, in an unprecedented sporting comeback. The Oracle team, at one point all but written off, notched up its eighth successive win to seal victory.
Skipper Jimmy Spithill's Oracle Team USA completed their reversal in sporting fortunes in San Francisco Bay on Wednesday, clinching victory in the final dramatic showdown of the series.
Australian Spithill guided his team's 22-meter (72-foot) catamaran past the opposition Emirates Team New Zealand, winning by a margin of 44 seconds.
Cheers rang out from the shore as fans, watching the vessel sprint past the pier near to the finish line, exchanged hugs. There was praise from the captain for his crew and support staff.
"When you've got a team like this around you, they make you look great," Spithill said.
The winner had seemed a foregone conclusion with the New Zealand team having built up a seemingly insurmountable 8-1 lead in the race series - a best of 17 contest. However, Oracle Team USA stormed back by winning seven in a row to level the score and leave the contest on a knife-edge ahead of the final race.
The America's Cup, first contested in 1851, was won in 2010 in Valencia, Spain, by a trimaran team led by Oracle software billionaire Larry Ellison.
The race was moved San Francisco, setting the scene for high-speed AC72 catamarans to race this year.
The Kiwis first won the America's Cup in 1995 and successfully defended it in 2000 before losing the trophy three years later to a Swiss team.
rc/ccp (dpa, AFP, Reuters)