Clock denies Kiwis an America's Cup clincher
Emirates Team New Zealand passes a leeward mark while racing Oracle Team USA in America's Cup race 13 on September 20, 2013, in San Francisco.
After three day of postponements due to high winds, it was light winds that scuttled the first attempt at Race 13. Winds on the San Francisco Bay were expected to increase for a second try later in the day.
New Zealand needs just one more win in the best-of-17 series to wrest the coveted Cup from the hands of Oracle Team USA billionaire owner Larry Ellison.
The Kiwis and the defending champions were nearly even at the start and the USA was ahead slightly as the catamarans crept slowly around the first gate.
After days of high-speed racing on the bay, the AC72 catamarans seemed to be moving in slow motion as the teams jockeyed to catch puffs of the capriciously shifting breeze.
New Zealand seized a lead that continued to grow, rounding the third gate more than two minutes ahead of the USA. The Kiwis were racing the clock rather than the USA from that point forward, but failed to make it past the final marker before the 40-minute time limit ran out and the race was abandoned.
"It's a shame really," said New Zealand tactician Ray Davies. "But the wind limit is the wind limit; the time limit is the time limit, and you just have to deal with it."
The outcome was a reprieve for the USA, which needs to win seven races in a row to retain possession of yacthing's prized trophy.
"We were obviously staring down the barrel of defeat there," said Oracle tactician Ben Ainslee.
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