Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi took to the House floor today to congratulate Oracle Team USA on their spectacular comeback against Emirates Team New Zealand in San Francisco Bay for the 34th annual America's Cup. Below are the Leader’s remarks:
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would also like to thank Mr. Davis for courtesy to allow me with great enthusiasm to come to the floor, to salute Team America, the Oracle Team USA which came from behind to win the America’s Cup. As many people may be aware, some not, over the past year or so, San Francisco Bay area has been home to the America’s Cup Race. It’s a venerable race. It’s usually out to see where people in their sailboats could witness what was going on, or see it on their TV. Because of the vision on Larry Ellison, it was brought to San Francisco Bay. It went from white caps to blue collar. And anyone who could see the bay could see the America’s Cup Race. And the shore was lined up with people and anyone who had a view of the water could see something spectacular happening.
“For the past two weeks, the 34th America’s Cup finals where Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand raced across the Bay for the right to lift the oldest trophy in international sport. The race was swift – boasting AC72s, the fastest catamarans the competition has ever seen. The race was long – lasting over 15 days as these two incredible teams competed in 19 races. The race was close – following a ‘winner-take-all’ race yesterday, first ‘winner-take-all’ final race in 30 years.
“And yesterday afternoon, the 34th America’s Cup finished with the most incredible comeback in history. After trailing Team New Zealand 1 to 8 – Team USA had 1; Team New Zealand had 8 – Oracle Team USA surged ahead to win an unprecedented 8 straight races to once again hold the America’s trophy high above their heads.
“Skipper Jimmy Spithill, Tactician Sir Ben Ainslie, and the entire Oracle Team USA sailed into the Port of San Francisco as champions – welcomed by the largest and loudest crowd to cheer their entrance in history, or any team in history. There could be no better backdrop, in my view, or in the view of anybody who saw it, the momentous American moment than Team USA in the San Francisco Bay crossed over to victory with the backdrop of the hugest American flag I have ever seen.
“This all was the vision of Oracle Team Sponsor Larry Ellison, who was on the water with his crew, joining in the celebration of his team’s second victory in the America’s Cup. Larry Ellison’s vision democratized the cup, as I said, from white caps to blue collar. By bringing the race so close to the shore line, everyone who could view San Francisco Bay could view the excitement of America’s Cup.
“That beautiful site was made possible by the extraordinary leadership of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Mark Buell, who led a private sector initiative and Kyri McClellan, of the America’s Cup Organizing Committee, and Daley Dunham with the Port of San Francisco. Thanks to the Coast Guard, the National Park Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers for helping to make this race a spectacular site to see.
“With the help of these leaders and the local San Francisco maritime unions, the world witnessed one of the greatest moments in sports history and in our beautiful Bay. The America’s Cup is the oldest and most prestigious trophy in yachting. Team USA won the very first race in 1851, and had successfully defended the Cup for the next 132 years until 1983. Exactly thirty years later, the Cup returns home to where it belongs: in the hands of American sailors who defied the odds, who are so courageous, who are so disciplined, who are so focused, and who had such strategic plan to give our country, USA, USA, USA a victory we will never forget.
“Thank you Oracle Team USA, for putting your hearts, your souls, your everything, and your all into the 34th America’s Cup. You have earned your place in history.
“With that Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.”