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Strong winds postpone America's Cup races

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Oracle Team USA goes past a pair of super yachts in the background before the start of the 11th race of the America's Cup sailing event against Emirates Team New Zealand, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, in San Francisco. The 11th and 12th races of the series were postponed Tuesday because of strong winds. - AP PHOTO/ERIC RISBERG
  • AP Photo/Eric Risberg
  • Oracle Team USA goes past a pair of super yachts in the background before the start of the 11th race of the America's Cup sailing event against Emirates Team New Zealand, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, in San Francisco. The 11th and 12th races of the series were postponed Tuesday because of strong winds.

Day 7 of the America's Cup was cancelled Tuesday when the wind roared over the limits well past the scheduled 1:15 p.m. start time, pushing Emirates Team New Zealand's chance to claim the Cup back by at least a day.

New Zealand remains at a 7-1 advantage in the series, needing just two more wins to take the trophy home. Two more races are scheduled each day through Saturday and one more Sunday, or as long as it takes to declare a winner. Oracle Team USA still needs eight more wins to complete its comeback.

With an ebb tide Tuesday afternoon — meaning the water was flowing out of San Francisco Bay, the wind had to stay under 20.3 knots for a 15-minute period for the race to be allowed. Each time the wind stayed over that limit for 30 seconds the clock was reset for another 15 minutes, and America's Cup participants, officials and fans were back on the edge of their seats.

The wind limit is set at 23 knots for the month of September, and the tide (2.7 knots Tuesday) is subtracted from that total each day to set the wind limit.

This is the second time during the America's Cup Finals that a race has been canceled due to excessive wind, but the first time there have been no races at all.

The original wind limit of 33 knots was reduced to 23 knots as one of 37 safety recommendations made after British double Olympic medalist Andrew "Bart" Simpson was killed on May 9 when Artemis Racing's catamaran capsized during a training run.

On Monday, Oracle Team USA officials proposed increasing the wind limit from 23 to 24 knots, saying the crews were capable of starting races in those conditions aboard their high-performance, 72-foot catamarans.

Team New Zealand declined, saying it would have considered it before racing started, but didn't feel it was appropriate to make changes this far into the regatta.

Even if the teams agreed, America's Cup officials would have to take the proposal to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.