SAN FRANCISCO — Beaten again, James Spithill, the hard-driving skipper for Oracle Team USA, stood on his team’s catamaran Wednesday — with the rough water and the Bay Bridge for a backdrop — and answered questions through a headset.
“It’s not over; it’s a long way from over,” Spithill said.
That seemed much more like bravado than realism with Emirates Team New Zealand requiring only one more victory to dispossess Oracle of the America’s Cup.
Wind limits forced the second race Wednesday to be postponed. So the America’s Cup is still not over even though it seems only a matter of when, not if, the Kiwis will finish off Spithill and his multinational crew and their billionaire owner, Larry Ellison.
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The postponement came after Team New Zealand had won the day’s first race by 15 seconds to take an 8-1 lead in the Cup. The hundreds of New Zealanders gathered on the shore at America’s Cup Park and the more than a million watching back home on television were poised for a celebration that has been 10 years in the making. Instead they will have to wait until Thursday, when two more races are scheduled, either of which could end it.
“Obviously, we’re in an extremely strong situation; there’s no question about that, and we are one race away,” said Ray Davies, Team New Zealand’s successful tactician. “But that same one race will be the same approach we’ve always had. … We’ve just got to keep our heads screwed on.”