SAN FRANCISCO - Emirates Team New Zealand won Race 11 of the America's Cup by 15 seconds Wednesday to close within one victory of taking the oldest trophy in international sports from powerhouse Oracle Team USA.
The Kiwis took an 8-1 lead and had the chance to win the Auld Mug later Wednesday afternoon in Race 12.
Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker controlled rival Jimmy Spithill at the start and led the whole way, building his lead on the crucial upwind third leg toward the Golden Gate Bridge.
Barker was at the helm in 2003 when hard-luck Team New Zealand was swept in five races by its former skipper, Russell Coutts, and Alinghi of Switzerland. The Kiwis had to drop out of two races with breakdowns.
Now Barker needs just one more victorious sprint around San Francisco Bay to reclaim the Auld Mug.