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New Zealanders Enjoy Bay Area During America’s Cup Action

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After Oracle Team USA won the lone race of the day in the America’s Cup on Thursday, it gave fans of challenger Emirates Team New Zealand to soak up San Francisco for at least one more day.

Oracle led wire to wire en route to a 31-second win over Emirates. Despite the loss, the throng of fans gathered at Pier 27 to watch Emirates Team New Zealand remain in good spirits.

Native New Zealander and current Arcata resident Andy Willis felt the 34th America’s Cup is generally a success, but it’s not perfect.

“I think they’ve done a great job here in the States,” said Willis, an avid sailor from his time in his native land.

“It’s a bit expensive though. I can’t even get a beer without dropping $10,” he added.

Beer or not, Willis is pretty confident his country is going to win the Cup.

“It’s time for the Cup to go back Down Under.”

Emirates Team New Zealand had a chance to clinch victory in the international sailing race today with one last win over defending champion Oracle Team USA.

A second race was scheduled Thursday afternoon but was postponed—with a roar of boos from the Pier crowd—due to high winds. Racing will resume on Friday.

John Michael Davis, who has been visiting San Francisco from his native New Zealand since July is living in the moment.

“I’m taking it day-by-day, race-by-race,” Davis, a retiree, said.

Even with the one-day-at-a-time approach to the competition, Davis said he is “confident” his country will get the job done.

In the interim, he is enjoying the city.

“I love it here. It is a superb city and the Cup has been tremendous.”

The New Zealand team leads the America’s Cup Finals 8-2 over Oracle, which has won four races but was docked two points by the regatta’s International Jury before racing began because of illegal modifications the team made to its boats during exhibition races in 2012 and earlier this year.

The first team to reach nine points in the finals wins the America’s Cup.

Emirates Team New Zealand was poised to potentially get their ninth point on Tuesday and Wednesday, but high winds on the Bay also caused race postponements on those days.

Oracle Team USA won the previous America’s Cup in 2010 and chose San Francisco to host this year’s regatta.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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