New Zealand first won the Auld Mug, as the America’s Cup is known, in San Diego in 1995 with the yacht “Black Magic”.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – For thousands of New Zealanders who four years ago watched their sailing team crumble from a seemingly unbeatable position, a win in the America’s Cup brought as much relief as it did elation.
“We’re all ecstatic about what we have managed to achieve and we are on top of the world”, said Burling, after he supplanted Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill as the youngest helmsman to claim the oldest worldwide trophy in sport.
Oracle and America’s Cup Event Authority boss Sir Russell Coutts was quick to applaud Team New Zealand’s triumph in the Cup match.
Potential sites, Goff said, would depend on what Team New Zealand were planning on things like the type of boats and whether Auckland would host pre-America’s Cup regattas.
The 1984 Olympic gold medallist has been a polarising figure for Kiwis after deciding to leave these shores and steer Alinghi, while he and Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton have a long history of disagreements over the running and vision of the America’s Cup.
We came across late to Bermuda from New Zealand and to be able to get the boat into good shape in such short time is all credit to our wonderful team.
“The way we did it, the accolades we’re getting internationally for our innovation and the quality of our sailors, people are saying New Zealand just bundles excellence”, Busfield said in a telephone interview from Bermuda.
For the 39-year-old Australian, the win was all the sweeter, as it signalled a remarkable turnaround since San Francisco.
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.
Throughout May and June 2017 ardent America’s Cup fans and sports enthusiasts witnessed the best America’s Cup in a decade and another sporting milestone.
Since then, supremacy has been relatively short-lived, with the United States, Switzerland and New Zealand all having custody of the trophy. It has been three years of hard work.
There were no Americans on Oracle Team USA’s crew, which included five Australians and one from Antigua.
“We definitely had a bit of a bumpy road at times, we faced a bit of adversity at times”, Burling said, adding that the spectacular capsize which almost ended the Kiwi campaign during the semi-final did not haunt him “at all”. “I think that would occur again”.
The celebrations following the win, in the New Zealand team’s “shed” where the space-age 50-foot catamaran and wingsail were stored, were “pretty low-key” with the crew only realising how drained they were once the adrenaline wore off.
The Kiwis’ fast boat was powered by a revolutionary grinding system in which they replaced traditional arm power with leg power.
“As a fellow athlete and competitor all you can do is really take your hat off and pay respect”, said Spithill. A $200 million Park Hyatt hotel is being built on land occupied by the Team New Zealand base.