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.

  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Board members extend contract for Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools

    Board members extend contract for Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:38:45 GMT
    Parents all over are getting their child's 'back to school' list together. Classes in Birmingham start August 14, 2014. The school board is also getting ready. Board members checked off a big item during the last board meeting.More >>
    Parents all over are getting their child's 'back to school' list together. Classes in Birmingham start August 14, 2014. The school board is also getting ready. Board members checked off a big item during the last board meeting.More >>
  • Starting process of replacing I-20/59 bridge

    Starting process of replacing I-20/59 bridge

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:17 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:17:49 GMT
    It's more than 42 years old and not getting in any better shape. The long and arduous process of replacing the I-20/59 bridge near the Birmingham/Jefferson Civic Center area is in the beginning stages. Starting Wednesday, July 23, at 9 a.m., the Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct geotechnical investigations for replacement of the bridge that's in disrepair. More than 160,000 vehicle travel the corridor each day. However, the bridge was only designed to carry 80,000 vehicles a d...More >>
    It's more than 42 years old and not getting in any better shape. The long and arduous process of replacing the I-20/59 bridge near the Birmingham/Jefferson Civic Center area is in the beginning stages. Starting Wednesday, July 23, at 9 a.m., the Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct geotechnical investigations for replacement of the bridge that's in disrepair. More than 160,000 vehicle travel the corridor each day. However, the bridge was only designed to carry 80,000 vehicles a d...More >>
  • California law limits full-contact football practice for youth, local coach weighs in

    California law limits full-contact football practice for youth, local coach weighs in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:33:21 GMT
    Football, and the injuries associated with it, are in the national spotlight. With recent suits from former NFL players and new rules determining when it is safe to return to play after a concussion, it's at the center of attention.More >>
    Football, and the injuries associated with it, are in the national spotlight. With recent suits from former NFL players and new rules determining when it is safe to return to play after a concussion, it's at the center of attention.
    More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • CEO: Clippers coach to quit if Sterling stays

    CEO: Clippers coach to quit if Sterling stays

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:24:23 GMT
    Richard Parsons, the interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, is due to step into the battle of billionaires going on in probate court over the proposed sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.More >>
    The interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he will quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.More >>
  • Board members extend contract for Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools

    Board members extend contract for Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:38:45 GMT
    Parents all over are getting their child's 'back to school' list together. Classes in Birmingham start August 14, 2014. The school board is also getting ready. Board members checked off a big item during the last board meeting.More >>
    Parents all over are getting their child's 'back to school' list together. Classes in Birmingham start August 14, 2014. The school board is also getting ready. Board members checked off a big item during the last board meeting.More >>
  • Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival at the gulf

    Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival at the gulf

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:05 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:05:11 GMT
    The 2nd Annual Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival is coming on September 6th at Perdido Key. The event will be held at Stacey's at the Point, just off Galvez Landing. Last year's event attracted over 3,500 visitors in its first year, more are expected this year.The festival will feature kayak and stand up paddleboard races, arts and crafts vendors, live music, a huge fireworks show and a BBQ cook off competition with cash prizes. This year's kayak and paddleboard races have been expanded with separ...More >>
    The 2nd Annual Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival is coming on September 6th at Perdido Key. The event will be held at Stacey's at the Point, just off Galvez Landing. Last year's event attracted over 3,500 visitors in its first year, more are expected this year.The festival will feature kayak and stand up paddleboard races, arts and crafts vendors, live music, a huge fireworks show and a BBQ cook off competition with cash prizes. This year's kayak and paddleboard races have been expanded with separ...More >>
  • Starting process of replacing I-20/59 bridge

    Starting process of replacing I-20/59 bridge

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:17 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:17:49 GMT
    It's more than 42 years old and not getting in any better shape. The long and arduous process of replacing the I-20/59 bridge near the Birmingham/Jefferson Civic Center area is in the beginning stages. Starting Wednesday, July 23, at 9 a.m., the Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct geotechnical investigations for replacement of the bridge that's in disrepair. More than 160,000 vehicle travel the corridor each day. However, the bridge was only designed to carry 80,000 vehicles a d...More >>
    It's more than 42 years old and not getting in any better shape. The long and arduous process of replacing the I-20/59 bridge near the Birmingham/Jefferson Civic Center area is in the beginning stages. Starting Wednesday, July 23, at 9 a.m., the Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct geotechnical investigations for replacement of the bridge that's in disrepair. More than 160,000 vehicle travel the corridor each day. However, the bridge was only designed to carry 80,000 vehicles a d...More >>
  • Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:06:38 GMT
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.More >>
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.
    More >>
  • Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:05:18 GMT
    William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
  • California law limits full-contact football practice for youth, local coach weighs in

    California law limits full-contact football practice for youth, local coach weighs in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:33:21 GMT
    Football, and the injuries associated with it, are in the national spotlight. With recent suits from former NFL players and new rules determining when it is safe to return to play after a concussion, it's at the center of attention.More >>
    Football, and the injuries associated with it, are in the national spotlight. With recent suits from former NFL players and new rules determining when it is safe to return to play after a concussion, it's at the center of attention.
    More >>
  • UAB gets commitment from JUCO receiver/returner

    UAB gets commitment from JUCO receiver/returner

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:17:31 GMT
    Alex Byers is set to return to his southeast roots. The junior college wide receiver and return man committed to UAB. He's the ninth member of the Blazers 2015 recruiting class.More >>
    Alex Byers is set to return to his southeast roots. The junior college wide receiver and return man committed to UAB. He's the ninth member of the Blazers 2015 recruiting class.More >>