Part of complete coverage on
America's Cup: Miracle on Water still a possibility as U.S. ties series 8-8
September 25, 2013 -- Updated 0655 GMT (1455 HKT)
New Zealand skipper Dean Barker, left, has seen his team's lead at the America's Cup dissipate.
- Oracle Team USA wins both races at the America's Cup Tuesday to tie series 8-8
- Emirates Team New Zealand had led 8-1 against the defending champion
- The decider in yachting's most prestigious competition takes place Wednesday
- Team USA was docked two wins because it was ruled to have illegally altered its boat
(CNN) -- You've heard of the Miracle on Ice?
Are we in for the Miracle on Water?
Maybe, because Oracle Team USA can still win the America's Cup.
Trailing 8-1 in yachting's most prestigious competition, the defending champion tied the series 8-8 Tuesday in San Francisco Bay to set up likely the most exciting finish in the 162-year history of the event.
The one-race decider takes place Wednesday.
Read: New Zealanders on the ropes
"It's the most exciting day of all of our lives and we wouldn't want to be anywhere else," Oracle's Australian skipper, Jimmy Spithill, said in a televised interview. "We're up for anything.
"Any conditions are good for us. We're just looking forward to getting onto the race track and having one heck of a fight."
Read: Cup now a 'new-age speedster' event
The sailors who race the America's Cup
Seeing San Francisco by sailboat
America's Cup trophy on display
Oracle Team USA, bankrolled by billionaire Larry Ellison, won the first race Tuesday by 27 seconds and then rallied to claim the second by a whopping 54 to leave Emirates Team New Zealand stunned.
"The boys just out-ground the other team," said Spithill. "Very, very impressive and it gives us a lot of confidence heading into tomorrow.
"We've really improved the boat. The boat is going fantastic."
They were actually the 17th and 18th races of the series but two victories for the U.S. were scratched off because it was deemed to have illegally tinkered with its boat prior to the finale.
Had the penalty not been imposed, Oracle Team USA would have retained the Cup following Tuesday's opener.
Three crew members of Oracle Team USA were also banned, which contributed to falling behind New Zealand early.
Boosting the comeback has been Spithill's decision to insert multiple Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie as tactician in favor of John Kostecki.
Despite losing Tuesday's first race, New Zealand skipper Dean Barker opted against using his postponement card that would have delayed the 18th race until Wednesday.
"We're here to race," Barker said.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
"Sometimes, I fly the drone with my head in a trash bag so I don't get salt spray from the sea on my equipment," says drone operator Justice L Bentz.
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 1401 GMT (2201 HKT)
If some naval architects get their way, superyachts of the future will look more like floating pieces of art than bog standard boats.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1224 GMT (2024 HKT)
This is no treasure hunt for a casket of gold at the bottom of the ocean.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
Navigate the world's most treacherous seas, crossing 73,000 nautical kilometers in a confined space with stressed-out, sleep-deprived crewmates.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1005 GMT (1805 HKT)
Personal submarines, jetpacks, even 'walking boats.'
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
Over 300 miles from the nearest ocean, competitors in one of the world's fastest sailing races prepare for battle.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1544 GMT (2344 HKT)
London's new superyacht hotel is so enormous, authorities had to lower the water level by five meters just to fit it under a bridge.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1155 GMT (1955 HKT)
His mast-walking stunts have attracted over 3.5 million hits on YouTube, but Alex Thomson just wants to get back to doing what he does best.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1432 GMT (2232 HKT)
Elizabeth Meyer talks to CNN's Mainsail about the "Armageddon battle" to restore the pioneering J-class boat Endeavour.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Ship captains of the future won't be salty sea dogs with their hand at the helm, and the ocean at their feet.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
Like "Downton Abbey," Henley's Royal Regatta reminds its visitors of an England of old. But for how much longer?
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
Nine months at sea, one change of clothes, freeze-dried food and a strange language. Could you cope?
June 11, 2014 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
Can a $134 million budget and the royal seal of approval bring the coveted America's Cup back to British shores for the first time in sailing history?
June 3, 2014 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
Bored of lounging on your superyacht in the Mediterranean? An increasing number of millionaires are now sailing their luxury vessels to the ends of the Earth, to get their kicks.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
He's one of the great landscape artists, but JMW Turner also had a watery passion -- and his maritime travels are being retraced.