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At Penn’s Landing, Area Sailors Revel in USA’s America’s Cup Squeaker

(Capt. Tom Kirwan alongside his Summer Wind, outside the Independence Seaport Museum.   Credit: Paul Kurtz)

(Capt. Tom Kirwan alongside his Summer Wind, outside the Independence Seaport Museum. Credit: Paul Kurtz)

Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 34th America’s Cup, which ended this week, will be remembered for Oracle Team USA’s miraculous comeback, one of the greatest in sports history.

Today we spoke to a couple of local sailing enthusiasts who are still celebrating the 9-wins-to-8 victory.

“Sweet! I love it, yes,” said Vicky Braxton, a deckhand on the Summer Wind, a schooner that takes tourists out for runs on the Delaware River from Independence Seaport Museum.

Braxton and her captain, Tom Kirwan, got sucked into the drama that played out on San Francisco Bay between Team USA and Team New Zealand.

“I watched a lot of it,” Braxton admits.  “Watched that last race, watched them go, man!  Made you really proud. really proud.”

“You know, in the beginning of the series they were clearly not able to tack, to turn, and maintain speed as quickly as the New Zealanders were, and they just kept fighting it and getting better at it,” Capt. Kirwan notes.

After falling behind 8-1, Team USA got on a roll and left New Zealand in its wake.

Kirwan, who has competed in his own share of races, has some sympathy for the losers.

“It’s just got to be devastating to them to think that they were that close,” he says.  “It’s like having your hand on the cup but you’re not allowed to grab it.  To be that close has to be just incredibly frustrating.”

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