Australia yesterday (Thursday, Sept 24) kept the fight for the America's Cup alive by winning the vital fourth heat in the series.
SV Crew on board Gretel
SV Jim Hardy and crew chat
SV Woman waving
GV Gretel pulls out
SV Bill Ficker on board Intrepid
Aerial View race in progress
Aerial View Gretel rounding bouy followed by Intrepid
CV Crew member
Aerial View Gretel and Intrepid round bouy
Aerial View finish ZOOM IN to Gretel
SV Other boats coming up
Aerial View end of race
Initials JB/AS/OS/2243 JB/AS/OS/2251
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Australia yesterday (Thursday, Sept 24) kept the fight for the America's Cup alive by winning the vital fourth heat in the series.
The America yacht, Intrapid, with three wins, needed to win only one more heat to retain the cup.
This twenty-first challenge for the most sought after yachting trophy in the world is shaping for an exiting finish to the competition.
With the series going to the first yacht to win four races, Intrepid got off to a good start by winning the first. Gretel lead for most of the next race but this was called off because of fog. When this heat was re-run, the Australian boat crossed the line first but the race was awarded to the Americans after a protest. Intrepid then won the next race to take a commanding 3 - 0 lead
Gretel tacked for most of yesterday's race, and as the yachts came on the last leg Intrepid led by 62 seconds. As the 12 knot wind faded Gretel narrowed the gap, and then dramatically took the lead with half a mile to go.
Gretel tacked quickly three times and Intrepid covered two of the tacks...but Gretel picked up speed so rapidly she crossed the line 63 seconds ahead.
The win was a tremendous lift for the Australians and it was the first time since 1934 that a challenging yacht had twice crossed the finishing line ahead of a defending American yacht.
The next race will be held on Saturday.