Emirates Team New Zealand routs Oracle Team USA to win America's Cup

Alvin Kelly
June 27, 2017

Fans of Emirates Team New Zealand celebrate in Auckland, New Zealand, Tuesday, June 27, 2017 after they defeated Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Emirates Team New Zealand's successful plan to regain the America's Cup started as soon as they had lost in devastating fashion to Oracle Team USA in San Francisco in 2013.

"As the first challenger, CVS will be the Challenger of Record for the 36th America's Cup and its representative team will be Luna Rossa Challenge", said the statement on behalf of Steve Mair, Commodore of Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, and Agostino Randazzo Randazzo, Commodore of Circolo della Vela Sicilia.

"A few years ago, it was absolutely brutal for the team, and it was a hard pill to swallow", Ashby said.

Racing got under way shortly after 2pm, with Emirates Team New Zealand taking the lead to the jubilation of supporters — and Oracle Team USA throwing themselves furiously into the last manoeuvres.

Dalton met secretly at his home with the 26-year-old, who has won Olympic gold and silver medals in the 49er skiff class.

These ties could come into play in the next phase of the cup because victory for New Zealand, who lead the US holders in the first-to-seven competition, would mean they get to decide on the format of the 36th America's Cup.

The team talked throughout the Confederations Cup about their inexperience at dealing with teams of world-class calibre and how they were learning from the matches quickly.

All four have shown a clear pathway from the Olympics to the America's Cup and their talent has been harnessed by the likes of Murray Jones and Ray Davies who guided a young team through the challenges of a Cup campaign.

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“Those guys just got off the line better than us, ” said Spithill, sporting a wrist bandage for the second successive day after an injury in practice.

The team members for the 35th Americas Cup “raved about Bermuda and the sailing conditions”, Mr Dunkley said, while the racing and onshore experience “shows we can do it when we pull together — the chance is now ours to do something with it”.

The team finished the event with 50 points, just two points ahead of second placed New Zealand Sailing Team (48 points) and eight points ahead of Switzerland's Team Tilt (42 points).

Other teams have said that before and then tried to twist the rules to hold onto the Auld Mug for as long as possible.

"It has also been immensely gratifying for all of the Australian sailing community to watch Jimmy Spithill and the many Australians in his crew, who have done an fantastic job".

It was the first time in the 166-year-history of the Cup that an American syndicate chose to defend the trophy outside the United States.

New Zealand won the right to take on the U.S.by beating four other "challengers" from Britain, France, Japan and Sweden, using cycling sailors dubbed "cyclors" to provide pedal power to control their catamaran's vast "wing" sail and hydrofoils. It was a statement that would have been hard to fathom after New Zealand's poor 2-0 defeat by Russian Federation, but it is now hard to argue with.

Its "cyclors", including Olympic cycling medallist Simon van Velthooven, 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. While Oracle was able to make a few gains, they ultimately fell behind by 55 seconds giving a comfortable win to Emirates.

The atmosphere had been tense as the New Zealanders fell behind early to Oracle, skippered by the never-say-die Australian Jimmy Spithill, nemesis of the 2013 campaign. The kid had a self-possession which struck you from the first, a cerebral quality amidst the chaos of high level sport.

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