New Zealand wins America's Cup

Marco Green
June 28, 2017

New Zealand's Peter Burling, 26, becomes the youngest helmsman to win sailing's biggest prize, the oldest competition in worldwide sport.

Meanwhile, New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling said it was "impossible to compare" the America's Cup victory with the Olympic gold medal he and fellow Team New Zealand crew member Blair Tuke won in Rio previous year.

ORACLE TEAM USA managed to peg back their rivals slightly in the latter stages of the race, but New Zealand sealed their win in impressive style, crossing the finish line for the final time in the 35th America's Cup 55 seconds ahead of the US team.

The underfunded but resourceful Kiwis claimed the oldest trophy in global sports with another dominating light-air sprint around the Great Sound aboard their fast, 50-foot foiling catamaran.

The New Zealand team need to win just one more race to uplift the America's Cup for the second time.

Spithill's fightback in San Francisco in 2013 ranks as one of the biggest ever sporting reversals, overturning an 8-1 New Zealand lead to win the "Auld Mug" by 9-8.

“We were open-minded all of the way through to make those hard decisions and take the path we did, ” said Ashby, who was instrumental in the switch to cyclors.

Sirena won the 33rd America's Cup with BMW Oracle Team and led the Luna Rossa challenge in the 34th edition of the cup.

The New Zealand marine industry built both finalists' vessels - Oracle Team USA by Core Builders of Warkworth, and ETNZ by Southern Spars of Avondale.

Oracle skipper James Spithill was gracious in defeat and the Kiwis classy in victory.

Land Rover BAR Team Principal and Skipper, Ben Ainslie, said: "We could not be prouder of the Land Rover BAR Academy winning the Cup".

"A few years ago, it was absolutely brutal for the team", Ashby said.

"We would also like to pass on our congratulations to the entire team, from the likes of chief executive Grant Dalton to the boat builders and sail makers, and chief operations officer Kevin Shoebridge and skipper Glenn Ashby to the designers".

Busfield said almost 100 superyachts were in New Zealand for the racing back in 2000, up from the previous norm of one or two.

There was an air of inevitability as Emirates Team New Zealand put the finishing touches to their triumphant Americas Cup campaign.

That $250m-plus boost would be just the start of the magnitude hosting an America's Cup event could have.

The standout feature was a revolutionary grinding system in which the Kiwis replaced traditional arm power with leg power.

"The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. has accepted a challenge from Circolo della Vela Sicilia", Dalton said.

Among the crew was Simon van Velthooven, who won a bronze medal in track cycling at the London Olympics.

"There's that feeling of relief and vast satisfaction that as a fantastic team we've actually been able to pull off nearly the unimaginable against all odds".

Spithill said he strongly felt his team could have achieved their primary objective, but admitted unforced errors took a heavy toll.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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