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


Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton told Mike Hosking he can't explain how proud he is of his team.

The underfunded but resourceful Kiwis claimed the oldest trophy in global sports with another dominating light-air sprint around the Great Sound aboard their fast, 50-foot foiling catamaran.

But the focus was on Olympic champion Burling, who showered his jubilant team mates and support crew with champagne after their sleek black, red and white catamaran crossed the line.

Burling, who won Rio Olympic gold previous year in the 49er skiff class with fellow crew member Blair Tuke, has exuded a disarming calm and has now won a place in yachting history.

"They have clearly put together an awesome campaign under the most hard of circumstances".

About an hour later, with the America's Cup set on a podium, Burling and Ashby grabbed it together and lifted it over their heads.

At 26, Burling becomes the youngest helmsman to win sailing's greatest prize in a competition that dates to 1851.

New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby, who has a low-key but critical role "trimming" the giant wing with a games console-type device, was the only member of the crew defeated in 2013 in this year's winning combination.

"Hat's off to those guys today, they sailed clean and smart", Spithill said after the race, adding that the U.S. team bankrolled by Oracle founder Larry Ellison would fight to the end and had staged a comeback from a similar position before.

"I think it just embodies who we are as New Zealander's really, we're tough and we're resilient and resourceful and really this team embodies that".

Race nine started with both Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA enjoying clean starts and engaged in a drag race to the first mark, the US team edging just ahead but then losing ground to their rivals on the run to the second mark.

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

"The future of high performance sailing, whether it's the Olympics or America's Cup, is in a great position".

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"It was absolutely brutal for the team. For myself and a lot of the other guys with the team this time round, it is a great redemption and a relief to right the wrongs of the last campaign".

But, while leading 6-1 in the first-to-seven points final should make victory a near certainty, the New Zealand team are not complacent. "It's David and Goliath".

However, he said it was too soon to speak about possible directions for the Ellison's Oracle-sponsored team.

Ashby and the Kiwis took a major risk by staying in New Zealand to train, while their opponents arrived in Bermuda early, and by replacing traditional shoulder grinders with cycle posts. They installed four stationary bikes in each hull, with the "cyclors" powering the hydraulic systems used to trim the wingsail and control the daggerboards that are tipped with hydrofoils.

Its "cyclors", including an Olympic cycling medalist, 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 maneuvers on the water.

"We knew with this format that we had to be extremely innovative and extremely aggressive with our design philosophy", Ashby said.

"We're competing with other sports to get kids' attention". The dismantling was so thorough that America's captain, Jimmy Spithill, didn't rule out the possibility of stepping down as skipper during the series.

The Americans cut the deficit slightly on the fifth leg, but the Kiwis were relentless over the final stages in shutting out a comprehensive win.

A list of clubs can be found on the Yachting New Zealand website.

New Zealand was on a clear mission to wipe out the pain inflicted in 2013, when the U.S. overcame a 8-1 deficit to take claim the America's Cup with a 9-8 victory.

Innovation and excellence were key factors in Emirates Team New Zealand's dominance in claiming the America's Cup this morning, including an immensely talented bunch of Kiwi sailors.

New Zealand is expected to host the next America's Cup regatta in Auckland - known as the city of sails - with the event likely to be held in 2021 if organizers stick to the current four-year format.