AUCKLAND - Defenders Oracle Team USA continued their remarkable comeback in the America's Cup with a fifth successive victory on Monday to close the gap on Team New Zealand to 8-6.
The first to nine points will lift sailing's biggest prize and Team NZ have been sitting on match point since last Thursday (FST).
The 33sec win in race 16 on San Francisco Bay means Oracle matched the challengers in the number of victories at eight each.
The Americans began the regatta on minus-two as one of the penalties for illegal modifications in the 2012 lead-up series.
Racing on Monday was delayed for 30 minutes as regatta organisers waited for the light and fluky airs to strengthen and also be more consistent.
When the pre-start began in about 13-knot winds, Team NZ had the favoured port entry, but it was again the Americans who had the upper hand at the end of the two minutes of manoeuvring. Oracle found plenty of acceleration off the line and were five seconds ahead at the end of the short opening reaching leg.
The New Zealanders did well to keep the deficit down on the first downwind run, rounding the bottom mark 13s behind.
But Oracle were able to extend over the remainder of the journey.