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Neck-and-neck high drama at America's Cup Race 10

Monday 16 Sep 2013 4:55 p.m.

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The tension just keeps rising at the America's Cup in San Francisco. After almost capsizing yesterday, Team New Zealand were crushed by Oracle in the first race of the day.

But in what's been described as one of the best races of all time, they fought back in the second and they're now just two races away from victory.

It's not often you see Team New Zealand show emotion after a win, but today they did and for good reason. They had just sailed one of the all-time great races – a duel with Oracle that saw the lead change four times and the Kiwis grab another point.

"It feels like this is going to be one of the hardest ones ever," says skipper Dean Barker. "I guess the only time it's been backwards and forwards so much was in '83, but it feels right now we're in the battle of our life."

The Kiwis had been soundly beaten in the first race by 47 seconds. As the fans looked on, the flags and the faces dropped.

But it wasn't long before they were back on their feet, watching with nervous excitement as the two big cats showed their speed and agility, the lead swapping three times on the upwind leg alone.

Trailing by a mere second at the third mark, some impressive tactics saw Team New Zealand take the lead again, and they never looked back.

"The boats are just so close in performance, both upwind and downwind, it really comes down to a good old ding-dong trench warfare touch – your bayonet sort of yachting – and it's fantastic," says Team New Zealand wing trimmer Glenn Ashby.

It was a day of high drama, high stakes and incredible sailing. Barker perhaps sums it up the best.

"If you didn't enjoy today's racing out there, then you should probably watch another sport," he says.

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