Oracle keeps New Zealand’s victory celebration on hold
The lightest wind of the America’s Cup led to one crazy afternoon on foggy San Francisco Bay.
When the 72-foot catamarans came back to shore Friday, Jimmy Spithill and his Oracle Team USA teammates were smiling and slapping each other on the back after keeping the America’s Cup in America for yet another day.
Dean Barker and his mates on Emirates Team New Zealand could only shake their heads at how close they’d come to wresting the oldest trophy in international sports from the American powerhouse owned by software tycoon Larry Ellison.
The New Zealanders led by about a mile at one point in Race 13 before it was abandoned because it wasn’t completed within 40 minutes.
An hour later, after the wind had increased, Spithill and the Oracle boys stayed alive for the second straight day, overtaking the Kiwis on the downwind second leg and pulling away to win the re-sail of Race 13 by 1 minute, 24 seconds.
Team New Zealand still leads 8-3 and needs only one more win to claim the trophy.
WOMEN’S SOCCER: Jordan Pellerin scored for Maine (3-2-3) in the 74th minute, but Morgan Hilby answered eight minutes later for Northeastern (0-5-3) in a 1-1 draw at Brookline, Mass.
Nikki Misener assisted on Pellerin’s goal. Claudia Dube-Trempe made four saves for Maine.
NEFL: The Maine Sabers (8-0) will play their final New England Football League home game of the season at 4 p.m. Saturday when they host the Boston Bandits (6-2) at Thornton Academy’s Hill Stadium in Saco.
Admission is free. Donations and non-perishable food items will be accepted on behalf of the Saco Food Pantry.
BOYS’ SOCCER: Stephen Sherbahn and Alex Katz scored to lead Berwick Academy (4-0, 3-0 Eastern Independent) to a 2-0 win over the Bancroft School (1-1, 1-1) at South Berwick.
Erik Wisniewski and Sam Salvati combined for three saves to record the shutout.
GIRLS’ SOCCER: Caroline Hernon scored in the 14th minute, Liv Hurley added a goal in the 48th and Berwick Academy (3-1) held on for a 2-1 win over the Winsor School in Boston.
WNBA: Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne got all 39 first-place votes to easily win the league’s rookie of the year award.
The 6-foot-5 forward out of Delaware averaged 18.1 points and 5.6 rebounds and shot 93 percent from the free-throw line to help Chicago make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft was part of an outstanding rookie class that included top pick Brittney Griner and No. 3 pick Skylar Diggins.
Delle Donne’s teammate, center Sylvia Fowles, was named the defensive player of the year for the second time.
• Shavonte Zellous scored 20 points to lead the defending-champion Indiana Fever to an 85-72 victory over the Chicago Sky in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series at Rosemont, Ill.
Elena Delle Donne paced Chicago with 20 points.
• Seimone Augustus scored 19 points, Rebekkah Brunson had 18 and Maya Moore added 17 to lead the Minnesota Lynx to an 80-64 win over the Seattle Storm in the opener of their Western Conference semifinal series at Minneapolis.
NHL: A person familiar with the situation says the Winter Classic is going to Washington in 2015.
The D.C. area has several potential sites to host the game, including Nationals Park, RFK Stadium and FedEx Field.
• The Philadelphia Flyers signed forward Matt Read to a four-year, $14.5 million contract extension.
Read, who had 11 goals and 13 assists in 42 games last season, is now under contract for five years. He led NHL rookies with 24 goals during the 2011-12 season.
OPEN DE MOSELLE: Top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stayed on course for his third straight Open de Moselle title by beating Germany’s Tobias Kamke 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the semifinals at Metz, France.
EUROPEAN TOUR: Francesco Molinari shot a 5-under 67 to share the lead after the second round of the Italian Open at Turin, Italy.
Molinari was tied with Felipe Aguilar of Chile and Simon Thornton of Ireland at 9-under 135.
MATCH FIXING BANS: El Salvador’s soccer federation banned 14 national-team players for life for their role in alleged match-fixing, including games against the U.S. and Mexico.
The bans are connected with suspected match-fixing in four matches involving the national team, including a 2-1 loss in an exhibition against the U.S. in 2010 and a 5-0 loss to Mexico in the 2011 Gold Cup.
— From staff and news services