USA wins race eight of America's Cup
Oracle Team USA competes against Emirates Team New Zealand during the 34th America's Cup on September 14, 2013 in San Francisco.
Emirates Team New Zealand beat the defending champion over the starting line and held a lead of seven seconds rounding the second marker.
The Americans turned the tables on New Zealand in the upwind third leg that had been their undoing in each of the prior battles on San Francisco Bay.
Oracle closed the gap in the leg, with the New Zealand catamaran nearly flipping over as the rivals crossed paths. New Zealand was hit with a penalty and lost the lead.
"Man, I thought that was close to going," Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill said of the moment the challenger's catamaran went nearly verticle. "We got ready for a crash tack."
Oracle had a 28 second lead by the time New Zealand cautiously rounded the third gate and the Americans crossed the finish line 52 seconds ahead of the challenger.
The win was critical for the Americans, who need nine more victories to retain possession of yachting's coveted trophy.
New Zealand has notched six wins and needs just three more to seize the prize from Oracle's hands.
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