America's Cup win brings relief, elation for New Zealanders

Sheri Evans
June 27, 2017

However, don't count them out yet, at post race press conference, Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill was confident about repeating his wonderful come-back from 1-8 to 9-8 to win the Cup in San Francisco.

New Zealand first won the Auld Mug, as the America's Cup is known, in San Diego in 1995 with the yacht "Black Magic".

They led 8-1 in 2013 when the Cup was held in San Francisco, but they couldn't hang on.

Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie says Emirates Team New Zealand's success was a fantastic achievement and congratulated the entire team for their success.

Helmsman Peter Burling and skipper Glenn Ashby hoist the Americas Cup trophy.

Helmsman Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand won the America's Cup on Monday with a resounding romp against software tycoon Larry Ellison's two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA. He was joined by New Zealander Russell Coutts, the CEO of Oracle Team USA who suffered his first defeat in six Americas Cup finals.

"What I can tell you now, as a result of that day, we found some pretty serious structural issues with the daggerboards, because they had been taken so far out of range that they were basically letting go".

He and Blair Tuke teamed for the first of four straight 49er world titles in 2013 and added Olympic gold to their resume in Rio a year ago. As the silver trophy was passed around, some team members poured champagne into it and took swigs.

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"It was absolutely brutal for the team. It is a great redemption, just a relief to right the wrongs of the last campaign". We obviously learned a lot from that campaign.

He said the team had to live with the damage, testing the foils every night.

New Zealand's new system could be extremely hard to beat, and when they go into the next Cup as defenders, whoever will be challenging them will have their work cut out for them.

"We all, as a group, agreed and recognised where the bar would eventually get with our sport, and we tried to fast-track that learning process as much as we could". "They made fewer mistakes".

Their "cyclors", including an Olympic cycling medallist, have kept their heads down throughout the contest, pedalling furiously to provide enough oil in the system to allow the boat to perform nearly balletic pirouette manoeuvres on the water.

Burling, who at only 26 could also unseat Spithill as the youngest person to helm a winning America's Cup team, has exuded a disarming calm on and off the water.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff said, while he would be delighted for the city to host the next cup series, the council did not have money to contribute as it was already funding major infrastructure projects.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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