Team New Zealand claim first America's Cup victory since 2003

America's Cup
Reuters Mike Segar
Author

27 June, 2017

"Just as soon as Team New Zealand crossed the finish line there were just tears and the crowd just erupted".

Many have put New Zealand's triumph down to the revolutionary "cycling" system developed to power the hydraulics needed to control the catamaran's foils, which lift it out of the water, and the vast "wing" sail which drives it along.

The America's Cup, named after the schooner "America" which won it in 1851 off the south coast of England, has only been held by four countries so far: the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.

A family decision to buy a boat for the kids was the catalyst for one of the greatest success stories in New Zealand sporting history.

Close to 100 people packed No. 4 Bar and Restaurant in Merivale at 5am on Tuesday, crowding around televisions and tucking into cooked breakfasts, to see the last race of the America's Cup in Bermuda. They later enjoyed beers together before going ashore.

The result would have been particulatly sweet for Team NZ skipper Glenn Ashby, the only surviving crew member from that San Francisco collapse.

Heather said New Zealanders should be incredibly proud of the team.

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Four years ago and poised on match point at 8-1, the Kiwis' seemingly impregnable lead shrank day by day until the Larry Ellison-bankrolled Americans completed one of sport's greatest comebacks. A cyclor for New Zealand, Andy Maloney, has taken note of this simple fact.

"Tauranga Yacht Club is a really unbelievable club", Heather said. What resulted was a flawless storm that has left the sailing world with one of the biggest shockers since the turn of the century. "I mean, man, what a series", said Spithill, an Australian.

Team NZ again get to match point against Team USA at 6-1, but this time there's no mistake as rookie cup helmsman Peter Burling and his crewmates claim victory.

The Australian was very emotional after losing his defense of the Auld Mug when Peter Burling led Team New Zealand to a victory in race nine this morning.

Early nerves made way for excitement as it became clear Team New Zealand would win the final race.

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill has been humble in defeat following a crushing 7-1 loss to team New Zealand in the America's Cup today.


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