Emirates Team NZ has Conquered the America’s Cup
Emirates Team NZ won the 35th America’s Cup, Monday 26 June, banishing the demons of their staggering loss in San Francisco in 2013 with a crushing victory over their nemesis, Oracle Team USA in Bermuda’s Great Sound.
Now all sailing fanatics and newcomers to the sport are eagerly awaiting details of Emirates Team NZ, the new AC Defender, to get in early and book their pick of the luxury charter yachts in Auckland and the pristine waters surrounding New Zealand, gateway to the South Pacific and one of the most highly regarded stopovers for the Volvo Ocean Race.
You don't have to be an America's Cup aficionado to book ahead for your luxury yacht charter 'downunder'. In addition to 'Lord of the Rings' landscapes, snowfields and fjords, there is a myriad of golden-sand islands in the region for charter guests to explore. Charter guests can enjoy the sophisticated ports of Auckland and Sydney on the 'big island', Australia, to remote islands and coral atolls offering access to local people who preserve their traditional ways of life, some of the world's most amazing dive sites, and a kaleidoscope of varied culture, customs and cuisine.
Bermuda this year was abuzz with America's Cup action on-water and onshore for the enjoyment of the hundreds of luxury charter vessels and private mega yachts moored so close to the racing arena they could see the incredible multihulls and their crews straining for advantage.
At the helm of Emirates Team New Zealand, Kiwi sailor Peter Burling along with Australian Glenn Ashby and their passionate crew crushed long-time Defender, Oracle Team USA's hopes of defending sailing greatest's prize and the oldest sporting trophy commencing in 1851, with a stunning 7-1 victory.
New Zealand won the right to take on the US by beating four other challengers, using cycling sailors known as "cyclors" to provide pedal power to control their foiling 15-metre catamaran's vast "wing" sail and hydrofoils.
The America's Cup, named after the schooner 'America' which won it in 1851 off the south coast of England, has only been held by four countries so far: the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.
The team's first challenge in 1986–7, established Team New Zealand's reputation as fierce competitors on the water. This was enhanced by its first win in 1995 and successful defence in Auckland in 2000.
"We're just blown away," said Burling, who at 26, becomes the youngest helmsman to win the Auld Mug, as it's known. "We came here to win the America's Cup and right now we're taking the America's Cup back home to New Zealand," he said. "I've grown up watching this competition as a fan and to be a Kiwi and taking this Cup home is a dream come true."
"For me, I think the reason we won was because of what happened four years ago. This team has gone through some really tough spots from San Francisco and to be able to reward this team with the America's Cup is the best feeling, because they are such an incredible team," said Burling who adds an America's Cup to a gold medal in the 49ers at Rio.
Burling supplanted Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill as the youngest helmsman to claim the oldest international trophy in sport. Spithill was 30 when he steered the USA to victory in 2010, and he propelled their remarkable comeback from 1-8 down to a 9-8 triumph over New Zealand four years ago.
No obstacle was too much for Burling and his young crew on an innovative catamaran that featured a radical cycle-powered grinding system to power its hydraulics.
There was an element of stunned disbelief In the Oracle Team USA camp which had all the benefits of an enviable budget courtesy of billionaire Larry Ellison to plough into R&D and boat development. Spithill was gracious in defeat, acknowledging the New Zealanders' tremendous achievement. "The fastest boat won, there's no doubt about it," he conceded. "They fully deserved it. They had all the speed. What an incredible team. They've been a class above everyone in the 35th America's Cup and we take our hats off to you."
"They sailed better than anyone else out here and so, rightly so, they are the 35th America's Cup champions." Spithill said the defeat had yet to sink in. "It is definitely weird looking at the trophy and knowing we won't be taking it home."
Now all that remains is for Emirates Team NZ to define the terms of the next edition of the America's Cup, scheduled for 2019. The world eagerly awaits the announcement relating to venue – possibly Auckland's picturesque Waitematā Harbour, Tamaki Strait between Maraetai and Waiheke Island, or Hauraki Gulf, or even up north in the Bay of Islands; the boats – will they return to monohulls or a hybrid? Will there be World Series regattas in host cities around the world? What form will the rules and requirements take?
CEO of Emirates Team NZ, Grant Dalton has promised information will be forthcoming within a week or two, allowing sporting fans worldwide, and those interested in the opportunity to explore the natural wonders of New Zealand and the tropical South Pacific on any of the region's superlative superyachts for charter, enough lead time to book their charters for AC36 in New Zealand – renowned for its pristine cruising grounds and majestic landscapes, proximity to the South Pacific and much more.
For expert advice on your personalized charter yacht itinerary for New Zealand and the South Pacific, please contact Luxury Charter Group.
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