oracle team america's cup americas cup sailing larry ellison

17 Day 21 / SFO April Testing Session / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA) / 02-04-2013     Photo: Guilain Grenier

Oracle Team USA Holds on to America's Cup

Won eight straight races in Amazing comeback

Oracle Team USA defeated Emirates Team New Zealand in San Francisco Wednesday to claim the America’s Cup, capping off one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. Billionaire Larry Ellison’s team, on the brink of elimination, reeled off eight straight wins to take the regatta 9-8. 

According to Bloomberg News, the biggest previous comeback took place in 1983 when Alan Bond’s Australia II rebounded from 3-1 to win a best-of-seven series over the New York Yacht Club.

The Oracle team started behind New Zealand after being docked two points for cheating during preliminary competition. They then fell to 3-1 after struggling with their maneuvers and sailing upwind. However, Oracle Team took advantage of a halt in the racing, making a number of adjustments to the boat and shifting their personnel. They returned faster and more agile in the water before ripping off their incredible comeback run.


oracle team america's cup americas cup sailing larry ellison

17 Day 21 / SFO April Testing Session / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA) / 02-04-2013     Photo: Guilain Grenier

Oracle Team USA Makes Stunning Comeback

America's Cup to be decided in final race

One week ago, defending America’s Cup champs Oracle Team USA were at the bottom of the pack, trailing by eight races to one against their challenger, Emirates Team New Zealand. But Oracle responded with an improbable comeback, winning seven consecutive races to tie the series 8-8.

Weather permitting, the winner will be decided in one final race Wednesday. Only twice before in the history of the America’s Cup, in 1920 and 1983, has there been a winner-takes-all race.

Oracle’s poor start came as a shock to billionaire owner Larry Ellison. Ellison sunk a great deal of money into designing Oracle’s hyper-technical yacht and, as owner of the defending champions, even got to select where the race would be.

The final race will take place on Wednesday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. Pacific time.


Chris Horner in the 2011 Tour of California     Photo: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious

Cyclist Chris Horner to Release Bio-Passport Data

Hopes to prove he's clean

American cyclist Chris Horner released his biological passport data today. The move is designed to quiet skepticism surrounding his recent Vuelta a Espana win, VeloNews reports.

“I’m going to release all my biological passport, from 2008, the inception of the biological passport. I don’t know how many guys have done that in the past, but I’m going to release all of mine,” Horner told VeloNews. “I think it’s just necessary. Clearly there are a lot of people out there that think the result wasn’t done clean at the Vuelta. I think this will clear up any matter at all, and they’ll have no leg to stand on from this point on.”

Throughout the Vuelta, pundits and critics were skeptical that 41-year-old Horner was racing clean. They pointed to his remarkable climbing performance and the comments he made regarding Armstrong. The situation briefly became more tense when drug testers went to the wrong location following his Vuleta win. The United States Anti-Doping Agency has since cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Horner is the second high-profile rider to release his physiological this year. After winning the Tour de France, Chris Froome selectively released his power data. While the analysis came back "clean," critics were disappointed with Froome's Team Sky for selectively releasing the data and choosing an analyst who had previously supported Lance Armstrong.

It's unclear how far releasing the biological passport data will do to quiet the critics. On Twitter, anti-doping expert Michael Puchowicz wrote: "maybe it can't rule things out fully but can be much more reassuring than sky releasing power data to Grappe behind a curtain," alluding to the selective release of Froome's power data.

Armstrong famously released blood values from his comeback attempt, but the data had the opposite of the desired effect, leading people to speculate that Armstrong was doping.


Green Lake, Austria

Green Lake in Styria, Austria, in the Hochschwab Mountains.     Photo: K3S/Shutterstock

WATCH: New Waterlining Record Set

Mich Kemeter breaks his own record

Slackliner Mich Kemeter has returned to Austria to beat the world record for waterlining that he set a year ago. Kemeter toed his way across 250 meters of slackline tautened over the surface of Green Lake, according to Newsonia. That's 28 more meters than the 222 with which he set the record in 2012, an endurance test the length of three football fields.

"The biggest issue is the wind and the weather conditions," Kemeter says. "You have to focus and you have to be really patient and accept certain circumstances."

In the attempt, he fell 30 times, which thankfully was not the case in setting his 2010 highline record of 86 meters at a vertiginous 282 feet.

Even when he missed his goal by just 6 meters, he climbed out of the water to try again, struggling for 20 days until he reached the other side.

Kemeter plans to continue setting new waterlining records by adding 10 meters of slackline for every year of his life.