Ainslie part of USA comeback
Sir Ben Ainslie has helped steer Oracle Team USA to the 34th America's Cup, completing one of the most remarkable sporting comebacks of all time.
Only last Wednesday the team were 8-1 down to Emirates Team New Zealand, who needed just one race win to secure the trophy.
However, San Francisco Bay witnessed an incredible comeback as defender Oracle won eight consecutive races on match point to close out the series.
Great Britain's four-time Olympic gold medallist Ainslie played a key role in turning the event around after being called up from the warm-up crew.
Drafted in as tactician in place of John Kostecki, he was one of the catalysts as Oracle produced the most incredible comeback in America's Cup history.
"It was a fantastic race - we wouldn't have it any other way," skipper Jimmy Spithill said after only the third winner-takes-all final in the event.
"We came from behind, the guys showed so much heart. On your own you're nothing, but a team like this can make you look great.
"We were facing the barrel of a gun at 8-1 and the guys didn't even flinch.
"Thanks to San Francisco, this is one hell of a day."
The hosts faced an uphill task after being docked two penalty points, meaning they were 8-1 down on Wednesday despite having won three races.
That Oracle clawed their way back was in no small part thanks to Ainslie, who was brought in when the team ditched tactician John Kostecki.
It was a devastating blow to the New Zealand team, who had been backed by fervent support back home but were given almost no chance to seal the final point they needed thanks to a combination of the weather and the American team's improved form.
Dean Barker's crew's best chance of victory came on Friday when they led in light winds, before the race was abandoned with the 40-minute time limit having passed.
New Zealand again led in Wednesday's decider, but it proved short-lived as the Americans surged past them with vastly superior speed on the upwind leg.
Quoted by BBC Sport, Barker said: "It's obviously very hard to fathom. We went out there to give it our absolute best shot. We felt we didn't leave anything on the table.
"When you're sailing against a boat going that fast it's very hard to swallow. Its very frustrating. The gains they've made are phenomenal.
"I'm incredibly proud of our team and what they've achieved but I'm gutted we didn't get the last win we needed to take the Cup back to New Zealand."
The thrilling denouement was desperately needed by an event which has faced criticism over increasing costs and safety issues, especially following British Olympian Andrew Simpson's death in a training accident in May.