Defending America's Cup champions, Oracle Team USA, withdraw from race six
Four defeats down, the America's Cup defender, Oracle Team USA, retired hurt from the race track on San Francisco Bay, declining to contest race six against their gritty challengers from Emirates Team New Zealand.
Because of an early two-point penalty, that means Oracle went, looking both glum and thunderous, into the clubhouse down by 4 to minus 1 in the race to be first to notch up five wins.
Each team can call for one postponement and skipper Jimmy Spithill explained: “We're going back to regroup,” an indication of the psychological blow which the race defeat had inflicted.
The next pair of races is scheduled for Thursday and, before being the man to throw in the towel on Tuesday, something never seen in an America's Cup, tactician John Kostecki had said: “Today is going to be a pivotal day.”
Having gone home to smiles and the psychological boost of breaking their duck on Sunday the question being asked was whether that fourth race win had been swings and roundabouts or the turning of the tide.
The question on Tuesday was whether Oracle just having to weather the storm or was facing the deluge. And it was a tactical decision which was at the centre of the heartbreak.
The conventional wisdom is that, as in motor racing, whoever can take the advantage at the first bend can make life very difficult for anyone behind, but in sailing there are different tracks available to competitors on different sides of the course.
So, having been outgunned for the third time in succession at the start, the Kiwis have twice made a successful comeback, twice on the Oracle nemesis of the third, upwind leg.
The defenders were nine seconds ahead as they rounded the big inflatable buoy which marks that third leg start when they took the unusual step of executing almost a handbrake turn, let the Kiwis settle, and then suffered an upwind horror show.
The difference at the top was 1'17“ to the New Zealanders, a net gain of 1' 26” and the gap between the two going down the fourth leg to the turn to the finish topped 1.3kms.
If the Kiwis wanted to come straight back from their only loss in the second race on Sunday they could not have done it more emphatically. They need five more wins to take the cup back to Auckland from the West Coast of the United States for the second time in less than 20 years. Six are scheduled for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
tvSpolier alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Auction house to give away $1m masterpiece in charity raffle - and tickets are only $100 each
Latest in Sport
Tottenham to use controversial blood-spinning technique to speed Jan Vertonghen return
World Cup 2014: Football Manager developers predict the team of the tournament - but which England player makes it into the XI?
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Transfer news: Wayne Rooney sparks Manchester United exit rumours after rejecting new contract talks - reports
Champions League last 16 draw 2013: Who could Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United meet?
- 2 Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
- 3 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 5 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram