Team New Zealand cruises to America's Cup championship

Gladys Abbott
June 27, 2017

Ashby's combination with helmsman Peter Burling powered the Kiwi team past Australian skipper Jimmy Spithill's Team USA by 55 seconds to win the Cup match series 7-1 on Bermuda's Great Sound on Monday.

AT last, they can celebrate - Team New Zealand have lifted the America's Cup from Oracle Team USA with a thrilling win off Bermuda this morning (NZ time).

New Zealand have beaten defending champions Team USA to take the 35th America's Cup -international sport's oldest trophy.

Kiwis on Tuesday greeted Team New Zealand's America's Cup victory with jubilation and a huge sigh of relief as it was revealed the triumph was secured with a damaged boat that could have failed at any time.

At age 26, he became the youngest helmsman to win the America's Cup.

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

The city of Auckland, which hosted in 2000 and 2003, will be favourite to stage the next edition and has promised a heroes' welcome and ticker-tape parade for the victorious crew when they return.

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.

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In a bid to achieve his America's Cup dream, Glenn, his wife Mel and their two daughters have basically lived 11 months of the year in New Zealand for the past six years.

Flags and flag bunting started before Somerset Bridge and lined the roads leading to the Americas Cup Village, where the crowds were clothed in patriotic colours. Listen to the final exciting moments as Team New Zealand cross the finish line in Bermuda!

"We all understand that they (New Zealand) are likely to have Luna Rossa as a challenger of record, but what their plans and intentions are is completely unknown", America's Cup Regatta Director Iain Murray told Reuters this week. "We beat the biggest and the best in the world, so that's just fabulous".

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

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

"We're competing with other sports to get kids' attention".

At the forefront were a handful of young sailors in their prime, led by the wisdom of a number of previous America's Cup sailors and backed by an innovative team.

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. "What a series. They made fewer mistakes and they fully deserve it so our hats are off to them", he said.

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