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Kiwis close within a win of America’s Cup

Emirates Team New Zealand, left, and Oracle Team USA, right, come off the start line and head for the first mark on Wednesday. (Associated Press)
Emirates Team New Zealand, left, and Oracle Team USA, right, come off the start line and head for the first mark on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Sailing: The America’s Cup is staying in America for at least one more day, thanks to the wind that blows in through the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the strong tide that flows out to sea.

That means, of course, that all those bottles of champagne that New Zealanders have at the ready won’t be popped open quite yet.

Not long after Emirates Team New Zealand won Race 11 Wednesday to reach match point in the America’s Cup against powerhouse Oracle Team USA, Race 12 was postponed because the wind exceeded the safety limit.

Race 12 was scrubbed just 30 seconds before the high-performance, 72-foot catamarans crossed the starting line with Kiwi skipper Dean Barker holding a strong advantage over rival Jimmy Spithill.

Organizers will try again today to get in two races, if necessary. Of the four races scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday, three were postponed due to the wind exceeding the limit.

Leading 8-1, the Kiwis need one more win to reclaim the Auld Mug for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Andersen cleared of wrongdoing

Miscellany: Miami Heat forward Chris Andersen was the victim of a wide-ranging Internet hoax that resulted in a raid of his Denver-area home last year, his lawyer said, and prosecutors confirmed Andersen was cleared of wrongdoing in the “extremely complex” case.

Lisa Pinto, spokeswoman for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, told The Associated Press that the office is reviewing a 4,000-page report before charging decisions are made, but added that “based on the information that we have been able to obtain and analyze, we are not pursuing charges against Chris Andersen.”

Andersen’s lawyer and agent, Mark Bryant, said his client was duped by a woman in Canada who sought a relationship and gifts and who threatened a female acquaintance of Andersen’s in California while impersonating the tattoo-covered fan favorite known as “Birdman.”

Bryant said neither Andersen nor his acquaintance realized they weren’t communicating with each other online or via cellphone texts but rather were communicating with the woman in Canada, who impersonated one to the other.

“Chris was a victim,” said Bryant, adding it was his understanding that the investigation uncovered at least a dozen people across several other states who were duped by the same woman who’s been charged in Canada.

Querrey, Tsonga advance in Metz

Tennis: Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and American Sam Querrey advanced to the quarterfinals of the Moselle Open in Metz, France.

Tsonga defeated fellow Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-4, and Querrey moved on when wild card Paul-Henri Mathieu retired while trailing 6-2.

Messi gets hat trick in Barcelona win

Soccer: Lionel Messi had a hat trick and Barcelona opened its Champions League’s run with a 4-0 win over Ajax in Rome.

It was a different story for Jose Mourinho as Chelsea lost when Basel came from behind to win 2-1 in London. Last season’s runner-up Borussia Dortmund also had a rough night, losing 2-1 at Napoli. Seven-time champion AC Milan struggled before two late goals gave the injury-hit Rossoneri a 2-0 victory at home to Celtic.

UEFA nations to back 2022 World Cup winter switch: Europe’s 54 soccer nations are prepared to support moving the 2022 Qatar World Cup from the summer heat to playing in January.

European soccer leaders told The Associated Press they gave UEFA President Michel Platini a mandate Wednesday for change. FIFA President Sepp Blatter has suggested his ruling board should agree in principle next month.

Graham, Patterson get ASU extensions

College football: Arizona State extended the contacts of football coach Todd Graham and athletics director Steve Patterson through 2018.

Nationwide shifting NASCAR sponsorship

Auto racing: Nationwide will end its seven-year run as entitlement sponsor of NASCAR’s second-largest series at the end of the 2014 season and refocus its motorsports spending to other areas of the industry.

NASCAR announced a new deal to extend Nationwide’s contract as its official auto, home, life and business insurance partner through 2017.


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