SAN FRANCISCO -- Oracle Team USA survived another day Friday, winning its fifth race in light and shifty winds and denying Emirates Team New Zealand the one win it needs to take the America's Cup home to Auckland.
But the Kiwis, who have won eight races, still need only one more victory. The Americans, penalized two races before the regatta began, need six more wins.
The Kiwis will have another chance for victory at 4:15 p.m. Saturday ET, when Race 14 is scheduled, weather permitting.
Unlike a number of America's Cup races that have been postponed by winds too strong for safety, it took two attempts to complete Race 13. The first was abandoned when the wind was so light the boats could not finish the race within the 40-minute time limit. The Kiwis were a mile ahead at the time and would have surely beaten Oracle.
"It's a very frustrating day to be honest," New Zealand skipper Dean Barker said immediately after the races. "We sailed a pretty solid first race. It's disappointing to be that close and so far away."
But Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill believes he's in the midst of his greatest comeback ever.
"What a fantastic race," Spithill said, and a "great bounce-back from the guys, too."
He knows his team lucked out when the first race was abandoned.
"What can you do?" Spithill said. "Sometimes a couple of things go your way and you've got to take it."
As Oracle tactician Ben Ainslie put it, "We were staring down the barrel of defeat there."
34TH AMERICA'S CUP
Emirates Team New Zealand 8 points, Oracle Team USA 3 points
Best-of-17 series or first team to 9 points
Saturday: Races 14* and 15*, 4:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.
Sunday: Races 16* and 17*, 4:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.
Monday: Races 18* and 19*, 4:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.
* -- if necessary
NOTE: Because of penalties, Oracle Team USA began the America's Cup with minus-2 points, meaning it would need to win 11 races to retain the America's Cup. New Zealand needs to win nine.