Two Teams, One Dream: It's Winner Takes All Tomorrow

The stage is set for the final showdown of the Cup
ACEA Gilles Martin-Raget

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The America's Cup is no longer just must-watch television, it's can't-miss television. If you are any sort of sports fan, tune in to the last race of the America's Cup, a battle royale that has been brewing for two weeks between two equally-matched teams in one of the closest Cups in history. 

The last two weeks of competition have resulted in a virtual stalemate, with both teams notching eight wins a piece. The longest on record, this Cup is now all tied up between defender ORACLE Team USA and challenger Emirates Team New Zealand. Tomorrow is for all of the marbles, giving the winning team the right to hoist the oldest trophy in international sport aloft. 

Fan of reality television? Well, you will love the drama of this Cup. The Kiwis were quick out of the blocks, racking up an impressive 8 wins that got them to match point on September 18, while ORACLE ticked away a couple of early wins, erasing their points deficit from their jury-issued penalty. The Americans have come on strong in the back half of the regatta, kicking their AC72 in full gear over the past week to steadily climb up the leader board. In between has been light air days, races called off for too much breeze, an almost-capsize by New Zealand, and a whale sighting that could have stopped the racing in its tracks. And did I mention that the boats are foiling over 50 mph atop San Francisco Bay?

And what has made this Cup so intoxicating for the viewer is the rich graphics, the crackling commentary, the close-to-shore racing and some of the best race management this sport has seen. With data and audio flowing off the boats, this Cup has been all about second-screen viewing, with fans able to watch live pictures with augmented reality overlays while listening to the athletes talk through their moves as they hurtle across the Bay. It's been absolutely brilliant. 

So who will win? The final race only knows. If it's ORACLE Team USA, it will be one of the greatest comebacks in sports. If it's Team New Zealand, it will be a triumph embraced by their entire nation. Either way, it will be a battle for the ages, and a history-making moment that is not to be missed.

Match Point, America's Cup on NBC Sports at 1:15 PT, on YouTube internationally, on the America's Cup mobile app and on Twitter at AmericasCupLive.