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US challengers Oracle beat Alinghi to win America's Cup

The BMW Oracle team
Oracle captain Larry Ellison (arms aloft) celebrates with the team

Challengers BMW Oracle won the 33rd staging of the America's Cup after taking an unassailable 2-0 win over Swiss holders Alinghi.

They clinched the Cup with victory in Sunday's race off the coast of Spain by a margin of more than five minutes.

And the result was confirmed after Alinghi, who claimed the trophy with a 5-2 win over Team New Zealand in 2007, dropped a possible protest.

Oracle are the first American team to win the trophy since America3 in 1992.

The result has been hailed as a victory for modern design, with the radical 223 ft (68m) wing sail proving to be a massive advantage.

"It's just such an awesome tool for racing," said skipper Jimmy Spithill.

"The boys are just absolutely lit up and we just can't wait to get back to shore to celebrate."

Light winds meant the start of the race was delayed for six hours, but it was worth the wait for the Oracle team and captain Larry Ellison, who lost out to Alinghi in 2007 for the chance to challenge for the trophy.

The regatta was originally to have been staged in 2009 but was held up by a lengthy series of court battles, which eventually saw the series take place without the usual challengers' regatta.

Ellison was on board for the trophy-clinching victory, having sat out the first win because of a weight restriction.

"It's an absolutely awesome feeling. I couldn't be more proud," said the 65-year-old billionaire.

Alinghi's chances were scuppered by a series of uncharacteristic errors.

The Swiss catamaran was penalised before the start of each race and had the inexperienced Ernesto Bertarelli at helmsman, despite the presence of the more highly rated Loick Peyron and two-time Cup winner Ed Baird on board.

The America's Cup, which was first contested in 1851, is the oldest trophy in international sport.

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see also
Oracle wins America's Cup opener
12 Feb 10 |  Sailing
America's Cup 'free to go ahead'
30 Jan 10 |  Sailing
Oracle set sail despite Cup row
19 Jan 10 |  Sailing
Court confirms Spain as Cup venue
15 Dec 09 |  Sailing
Alinghi propose Australia as host
05 Nov 09 |  Sailing
America's Cup battle set for UAE
05 Aug 09 |  Sailing
GB duo eye future America's Cup
25 Jun 09 |  Sailing
Date set for 33rd America's Cup
14 May 09 |  Sailing
Alinghi win America's Cup battle
29 Jul 08 |  Other sport...
America's Cup goes back to court
27 Mar 08 |  Other sport...
Alinghi secure America's Cup win
03 Jul 07 |  Sailing
America's Cup guide
16 Apr 07 |  Sailing

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