USA's Team Oracle completes historic comeback to win America's C - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Team Oracle USA completes historic comeback to win America's Cup, renews interest

Posted: Updated:
Oracle Team USA crew celebrate after winning the 19th race against Emirates Team New Zealand to win the America's Cup sailing event Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Oracle Team USA crew celebrate after winning the 19th race against Emirates Team New Zealand to win the America's Cup sailing event Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Just a month ago, the America's Cup "village" along San Francisco's waterfront had few visitors.

Its trendy, temporary bars often had more staff than patrons and retail workers at souvenir shops stood behind silent cash registers as sailing's most prestigious competition got off to a desultory start with single-competitor "races" that drew little interest.

Then Oracle Team USA launched one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. On Wednesday, tens of thousands lined up along the city's waterfront, found vantage points on the city's many hills overlooking San Francisco Bay and took to the water in all manner of watercraft to watch software billionaire Larry Ellison retain sailing's most prestigious trophy.

Now the question is whether Ellison will bring the next America's Cup back to a city where he endured a lawsuit, political opposition and scaled-back ambitions he blamed on too much bureaucracy to hold the event here. The winner of each event gets to pick the location of the next race.

Ellison, who owns a San Francisco mansion, said during a news conference that he didn't take any of the political opposition personally and called the event a success.

"It was the most beautiful regatta I have ever seen," said Ellison, who recently purchased an island in Hawaii. Ellison said he would discuss where to hold the next event with senior members of the Oracle team before announcing the next location.

Workers called in sick, children skipped school and thousands of New Zealanders traveled to San Francisco from their home country to watch sailing's premiere event.

A huge roar went up on Pier 23 when Ellison's 72-foot catamaran came into view for the thousands who chose to watch the race from the finish line. The Oracle boat had a huge lead and was obviously heading for victory.

"USA, USA, USA," the United States fans screamed in unison as the American boat zoomed by and crossed the finish line, completing a remarkable comeback and winning the competition nine races to eight. Oracle was once down 8-1.

"I was so nervous," said 10-year-old Wesley Seifers, a budding sailor who skipped classes to watch the race.

"It had to be done," said Vaughn Seifers, Wesley's father. "This is a historic day in sailing."

Some of the many Kiwis who traveled vast distances at great expense expressed disappointment, mixed with pride and hope for the future.

"Sure it's disappointing," said Tony Giannotti, who came to San Francisco with his wife. "But we'll be back."

Other Kiwis complained that Ellison's deep pockets made the difference. Ellison's two boats were built exclusively with the billionaire's money. Team New Zealand cobbled together its funding from many sources, including from the New Zealand government itself.

"All this shows is what money can buy," said Glenn Faulkner, a native New Zealander who lives in Half Moon Bay. "But no worries, mate. We gave it a go and we'll be back."

A flotilla of pleasure craft followed the Oracle boat as it left the race course and sailed under the San Francisco Bay Bridge on its way back to its storage shed. The bars and restaurants along the city's water line began to fill with thousands of residents and tourists, a scene no one would have predicted a month ago when the America's Cup got off to a rough start, including the death of a sailor during a training run over the summer.

Ellison upset many attendees of the annual Oracle "OpenWorld" conference in San Francisco when he skipped delivering the event's keynote address to attend the America's Cup. Ellison's team won both races Tuesday to pull even with Team New Zealand at eight wins each.

Economists say the event will still fall far short of the $1.4 billion economic boon first predicted, but that the America's Cup will still end up an economic success because of the extra days of racing and excitement the Oracle team's comeback has brought the region.

"Every day that this goes on is a good thing for the city," said Sean Randolph, chief executive of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. "Aside from the economic benefits, there are incalculable benefits that the city gets from all of this exposure."

Randolph and his organization estimated two years ago that the America's Cup would mean an additional 8,000 jobs and $1.4 billion for the region. But that's when event organizers expected as many as 14 syndicates to build temporary bases in the area and challenge for the Cup. In the end, only three challengers emerged and Randolph and his organization revised their estimates in March to about 5,000 jobs added and a $780 million boost to the local economy.

Randolph said it is too early to tell if even those revised numbers will be reached.

"But I have no doubt that the event will be a net-positive economically," he said.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was mayor of San Francisco when the America's Cup competition was awarded to the city, predicted the economic impact of the entire summer of racing and concerts sponsored by the America's Cup will exceed the $480 million in revenue generated by the NFL's Super Bowl in New Orleans earlier this year.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Shelby wants plan to fix Central Alabama VA

    Shelby wants plan to fix Central Alabama VA

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:19:22 GMT
    U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today sent a letter with U.S. Representative Martha Roby to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday. The letter requests that Secretary McDonald provide a plan within 60 days that identifies the problems at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, what can be done to correct them, and a timeline for implementation. It also requests that Secretary McDonald visit the facility in Montgomery with Senator Shelby and Represe...More >>
    U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today sent a letter with U.S. Representative Martha Roby to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday. The letter requests that Secretary McDonald provide a plan within 60 days that identifies the problems at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, what can be done to correct them, and a timeline for implementation. It also requests that Secretary McDonald visit the facility in Montgomery with Senator Shelby and Represe...More >>
  • Athens man pleads not guilty in Craigslist kitten killings

    Athens man pleads not guilty in Craigslist kitten killings

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:53 GMT
    Ronald Fraser Golden, 49, of Athens pleaded not guilty to 22 cruelty charges during a brief hearing in Limestone County, where authorities say he killed the animals in a part of his home he called "the cat room."

    More >>
    Ronald Fraser Golden, 49, of Athens pleaded not guilty to 22 cruelty charges during a brief hearing in Limestone County, where authorities say he killed the animals in a part of his home he called "the cat room."

    More >>
  • Girl who was struck by plane that crashed on Florida beach dies

    Girl who was struck by plane that crashed on Florida beach dies

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:34:21 GMT
    A 9-year-old girl who was struck by a plane that crash-landed on a beach while she vacationed with her family has died from her injuries, law enforcement officials in Florida said Tuesday.More >>
    A 9-year-old girl who was struck by a plane that crash-landed on a beach while she vacationed with her family has died from her injuries, law enforcement officials in Florida said Tuesday.
    More >>
  • Auburn University SportsMore>>

  • Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:33:03 GMT
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.More >>
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
    More >>
  • CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:22:20 GMT
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.More >>
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.More >>
  • Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:37:43 GMT
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Shelby wants plan to fix Central Alabama VA

    Shelby wants plan to fix Central Alabama VA

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:19:22 GMT
    U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today sent a letter with U.S. Representative Martha Roby to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday. The letter requests that Secretary McDonald provide a plan within 60 days that identifies the problems at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, what can be done to correct them, and a timeline for implementation. It also requests that Secretary McDonald visit the facility in Montgomery with Senator Shelby and Represe...More >>
    U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today sent a letter with U.S. Representative Martha Roby to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday. The letter requests that Secretary McDonald provide a plan within 60 days that identifies the problems at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, what can be done to correct them, and a timeline for implementation. It also requests that Secretary McDonald visit the facility in Montgomery with Senator Shelby and Represe...More >>
  • Sam factor prepares Rams for sensitivity session

    Sam factor prepares Rams for sensitivity session

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:26 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:26:35 GMT
    To guard against another Miami Dolphins bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp.More >>
    To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp.More >>
  • Uber blasts Birmingham Councilwoman over transportation code

    Uber blasts Birmingham Councilwoman over transportation code

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:14:19 GMT
    A weeks-long, heated debate over the City of Birmingham's transportation code ends with more friction.More >>
    A weeks-long, heated debate over the City of Birmingham's transportation code ends with more friction.More >>
  • UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:12:02 GMT
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
  • Stephen A. Smith suspended by ESPN for comments on Ray Rice domestic abuse discussion

    Stephen A. Smith suspended by ESPN for comments on Ray Rice domestic abuse discussion

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:50:13 GMT
    ESPN has suspended outspoken sportscaster Stephen A. Smith for a week because of his comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure that they don't do anything to provoke an attack.More >>
    ESPN has suspended outspoken sportscaster Stephen A. Smith for a week because of his comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure that they don't do anything to provoke an attack.
    More >>
  • Alabamians on both sides of the issue discuss Middle East fighting

    Alabamians on both sides of the issue discuss Middle East fighting

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:31 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:31:05 GMT
    The leader of the Hamas military wing has ruled out a quick cease-fire between the Israelis and Palestinians. Hamas is demanding Israel and Egypt lift a border blockade imposed on Gaza in 2007.
    More >>
    The leader of the Hamas military wing has ruled out a quick cease-fire between the Israelis and Palestinians. Hamas is demanding Israel and Egypt lift a border blockade imposed on Gaza in 2007.
    More >>
  • Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule, scores killed

    Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule, scores killed

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:11 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:11:20 GMT
    Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the militant group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the war so far.More >>
    Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the militant group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the war so far.
    More >>
  • Alabama picks up commitment from 4-star Ronnie Harrison

    Alabama picks up commitment from 4-star Ronnie Harrison

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:51 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:51:50 GMT
    Alabama scored a commitment from one of the top defensive back recruits in the nation. Four-star safety Ronnie Harrison announced his decision on Tuesday.More >>
    Alabama scored a commitment from one of the top defensive back recruits in the nation. Four-star safety Ronnie Harrison announced his decision on Tuesday.
    More >>