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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand Win 35th America’s Cup.

Another dominant race win for Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand in race nine of the America’s Cup has given the Kiwi team victory on the Great Sound in Bermuda where celebrations began immediately onboard their America’s Cup Class (ACC) boat and the team’s support boats.
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
The Kiwi team dominated the 35th America’s Cup by winning eight races to Oracle Team USA’s one race win, giving the New Zealanders a final winning score of 7-1.
© 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
The America’s Cup was last won by a team representing New Zealand in 2000 and they are now the Defenders of the America’s Cup for the 36th edition of the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport.
Jimmy Spithill © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
In the final press conference of the 35th America’s Cup, Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, also announced that the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has accepted the challenge of Circolo della Vela Sicilia, who will be the Challenger of Record for the 36th America's Cup and will be represented by Luna Rossa.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“We’re just blown away. We came here to win the America’s Cup and right now we’re taking the America’s Cup back home to New Zealand. To be able to win eight races in Bermuda in front of a big crowd of our own fans is overwhelming. We’re just happy to be able to share this moment with them," said Peter Burling, helmsman, Emirates Team New Zealand.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“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. To be able to win this event at such a young age is an unreal feeling.  However, I’m just a tiny part of a massive team and it is incredible to be able to reward the hard work of those hundreds of people who have supported us, not only here but back home in New Zealand as well," he added.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“We’ve had to go through some incredibly tough times to get to this point. It has been an incredibly tough path to get past the rest of the challengers and then Oracle Team USA and it’s credit to every team that competed.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“It’s so unique to get to sail these boats, every day they can be different. Our incredible shore team gave us that edge and to be able to reward their hard work and bring this Cup home with us is an amazing feeling.It’s just sinking in really and I think that will be the same feeling for all of those Kiwi fans watching us win the America’s Cup back home.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“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.I’d like to say thank you to Bermuda. It has been an amazing venue for a sailing event and I’ve absolutely loved this place, I’d love to come back at some stage.

Glenn Ashby, Skipper, Emirates Team New Zealand: 
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“It’s just an amazing feeling of satisfaction to have finally won the America’s Cup. It has been an incredibly tough journey to get here. We came across late to Bermuda from New Zealand and to be able to get the boat into good shape in such a short time is all credit to our amazing team.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“I’m just so proud to be a part of this team and to be able to bring the Cup home and I want to thank the support of the whole country. What happened in 2013 was a brutal experience for everyone involved, to be so close was extremely disappointing and is something that will live with all of us for the rest of our lives.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“So to be able to come here a few years later and pull off an unbelievable victory has really redeemed that situation for New Zealand and it feels like justice has prevailed.I think we’ve seen some unbelievable advancements here with the boats and the type of races we’ve seen and it’s great for our sport. From a sailing perspective it’s going to be hard to sail anything else after what we’ve seen in these boats, the technology is just absolutely amazing.”

Grant Dalton, CEO, Emirates Team New Zealand: 
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
“We’ve done it, finally. We probably don’t realise how big a deal this is back in New Zealand. I’ve been told that there was traffic jams at 4:00 am with people trying to get to work just to see the races, which is utterly incredible.
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
“We’ve had a phenomenal group of guys, we’ve battled some serious adversity but as a group we’ve overcome everything. There have been a lot of people behind that and none more so than Matteo De Nora, who has stuck with the team through thick and thin and believed in everything that we have done. New Zealand owes a lifetime of gratitude to him for what we have achieved.
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
“We thought outside of the square and we did it our way. After San Francisco we knew we couldn’t out-spend other teams here so we had to out-think everyone. One of the things to come out of San Francisco is that we were out-designed and we knew this time round that we had to push that area. This time round we had no restrictions on design. We just wanted to see what we could come up with and we have achieved some truly amazing things that have been revolutionary in this sport.
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
“After San Francisco we had a pretty tough debrief and came up with 20 points that we had to change. One of those was that we had to invest in technology and the people that provide it. We also had to get our arms around the next generation of yachtsmen that were coming through and Peter (Burling) was one of those.
Peter Burling Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
“He told me he wanted to be helmsman, so it was all about investing in the right people and giving them the responsibility to go out and achieve what we knew we could. It is important that we make the next America’s Cup affordable but we also need to remember that it is the America’s Cup and it is one of the top sports and not a little beach regatta. It is never going to be cheap.
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
“It is a fine balance between not making it prohibitively expensive, but not being so cheap that it devalues the competition. At the core of what we believe, we have to create an event that takes a lot of the good that has happened here, because there been a lot of good here. 
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
"Just because we didn’t sign the Framework Agreement, that doesn’t mean to say there weren’t elements we didn’t agree with, it was just didn’t agree with every element. To me it is a privilege to host the America’s Cup. It is not a right and we will put in place rules and an organisation of our own that will do everything to be good enough.”

Jimmy Spithill, Skipper, Oracle Team USA: 
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
“On behalf of the whole of Oracle Team USA, congratulations to Emirates Team New Zealand. 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. Well done.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
“They sailed better than anyone else out here and so, rightly so, they are the 35th America’s Cup champions. The defeat hasn’t really sunk in yet and it is definitely weird looking at the trophy and knowing we won’t be taking it home.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
“With hindsight there are a lot of things you would like to change but I think it’s far too early to say what might have gone wrong. Finally, I want to say, to Bermuda, you’ve welcomed us to your beautiful island and we’ve loved every moment of it. Thank you.”
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
Sir Russell Coutts, CEO, America’s Cup Event Authority, was quick to acknowledge the first New Zealand victory in the America’s Cup since 2000, saying, “I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations and praise to everyone in Emirates Team New Zealand for winning the 35th America’s Cup.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“Helmed brilliantly by Peter Burling, with the guiding influence of skipper Glenn Ashby, supported by a world class sailing, design and shore team, they performed magnificently here in Bermuda, winning in dominant fashion," Courts added.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
“I know just how much this victory means to the team and to the people of New Zealand. This is a remarkable achievement, one that will be rightly celebrated in Bermuda and across New Zealand and I hope those celebrations live long in the memory, much as the team’s victory in Bermuda has now written a new chapter in the history of the America’s Cup. Congratulations Emirates Team New Zealand. You deserve your victory, you deserve the accolades coming your way, and now, you deserve to enjoy it.”

America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton

Race Nine
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
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 before losing ground to their rivals on the run to the second mark.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
Burling was calm at the helm of the Kiwi boat, displaying no nerves as he steered his team towards glory, but Spithill and the Oracle Team USA crew were not giving up, pushing harder than ever to try and take the tie to race ten. However, it was not to be.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
By the third mark the Challenge’s lead was up to 26 seconds, increasing further still at the fourth mark, up to 34 seconds, and from that point, barring mistakes by Burling and his all-conquering Emirates Team New Zealand crew, the die was cast.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
Oracle Team USA managed to peg back their rivals slightly in the latter stages of the race, but New Zealand sealed their win in impressive style, crossing the finish line for the final time in the 35th America’s Cup 55 seconds ahead of the US team.

Race Results

Race Nine:
Emirates Team New Zealand beat ORACLE TEAM USA by 55 seconds

America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton Final Standings

Emirates Team New Zealand 7*
ORACLE TEAM USA 1

* Emirates Team New Zealand started the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton -1 due to ORACLE TEAM USA’s win in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers

America's Cup Media

Sunday, June 25, 2017

ETNZ Just One Race Win Away from Victory in America's Cup

Day four of the America’s Cup Match belonged firmly to Peter Burling and the New Zealand team who comfortably won the two scheduled races of the day, races seven and eight of the final stage of the 35th America’s Cup.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
Having won race six on Saturday, Oracle Team USA went into the second Sunday of the regatta looking to gain more ground on their Kiwi rivals, but the New Zealand juggernaut had found its pace again and was unbeatable in similar weather conditions to day three, Saturday 24th June.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
The America’s Cup Match leaderboard now stands at 6-1 to Emirates Team New Zealand who need only one more race to take the ‘Auld Mug’ back to their home country.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
“We were absolutely delighted with how the day went,” said Peter Burling after claiming back-to-back victories to take his team to the verge of their first America’s Cup success since 2000.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
“We were disappointed to give away a race yesterday but we certainly made up for it today. We’ve got a fantastic team and you can see that out on the water. We’ve all got the same understanding of what we want to achieve and we are all on the same page. Despite the lead we won’t get ahead of ourselves because we still know we have a job to do and it’s still an incredibly tough ask," Burling said.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
“A lot has been said about what happened four years ago but I love the pressure. If you want to come all the way to Bermuda and win the America’s Cup then you have to deal with immense pressure. As a group we feel the pressure is bringing the best out of us and I think we’ve more than answered those questions,” he added.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
For Oracle Team USA, this is familiar ground, and nobody would write off the Defenders who so memorably staged one of, if not the, greatest comebacks in sport when they pulled back from an 8-1 deficit to win the 2013 America’s Cup 9-8 against the same rivals.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
“They [Emirates Team New Zealand] sailed better than us today and made a lot fewer mistakes,” conceded Jimmy Spithill on what was a disappointing day for OTUSA.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Sander van der Borch
“They deserved to win both of the races because we clearly made far too many mistakes out there. We’re in a tough situation now and all we can really do is take this one race at a time.The plan certainly wasn’t to be in this position again, I can assure you of that, but we are here now so it is up to all of us to respond and react," Spithill said.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“You wouldn’t have been surprised to see a bit of a bad reaction out there today but the boys kept fighting and that’s great. Potentially, in a situation like this you could see a team split apart, but when we got ashore everyone pulled together because we know this isn’t over. I still think we can win races with this boat. We’ve proven we can races against these guys if we sail well but if we make too many mistakes like we did today then we won’t win races,” he added.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Having made changes to their boat since the opening weekend of racing, Jimmy Spithill was asked if there might also be changes to personnel on the OTUSA boat ahead of day five, to which he replied, “Anything is on the table. Every single team member in Oracle Team USA will do whatever they can to help the team win.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“That includes me. If the team feel they have a better chance of winning with me on the wheel, I’ll be on the wheel, if we feel we have a better chance with me off the wheel, no problem. Our attitude has always been you put the team before yourself," Spithill said.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“Once again we will go away and review everything and tomorrow we will put out the boat, the configuration and the team we feel will give us the best possible chance to win some races.We don’t need to think too much about the end result, all we need to focus on is winning one race, and one race at a time. We have to learn from our mistakes and come out fighting stronger tomorrow, that’s it, that’s all we will be thinking about,” he added.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Racing is scheduled to resume at 2.00pm on Monday 26th June with races nine and ten in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, taking place on Bermuda’s Great Sound.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton

Race Seven
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
It was a drag race over the start line in race seven as both teams made clean getaways, Emirates Team New Zealand just ahead as they rounded mark one. Spithill blinked first, making the turn before Burling and slowly inching closer to the Kiwis as they headed towards gate two. On leg three there was very little between the two teams but the Kiwis extended their advantage again as they headed upwind, giving themselves a 32 second lead as they headed into leg four.
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
Despite the growing gap, Oracle Team USA did not give up, continuing to try and claw back the advantage the Kiwis were building, but it was largely to no avail. The New Zealanders put on a dominant display, extending their lead to 40 seconds by gate four and then slightly back to 35 seconds at the fifth gate.
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
On leg six it looked as if ETNZ would wrap up the victory cleanly, but a bad jibe gave Oracle Team USA a glimmer of hope. Spithill and his crew did everything they could to stop the leaderboard ticking round to 5-1 to Emirates Team New Zealand, reducing the deficit to 13 seconds at the sixth gate, but they were unable to bridge the gap completely and that left the Kiwis with the victory in race seven.

Race Eight
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
The second of Sunday’s two races started with Emirates Team New Zealand putting clear air between them and Oracle Team USA well before the startline after Spithill had failed to box in his rival, having to watch Burling accelerating into a 13 second lead before Spithill had even crossed the start. 
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
“We thought we would be able to pull a manoeuvre off but clearly we couldn’t, it was a big mistake. That really handed it to Peter and these guys were in a pretty easy situation to hook us and that’s game over really,” Spithill said.
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
By gate two that lead was already up to 24 seconds and Spithill chose to split the course, a decision that appeared to pay dividends as the gap started to decrease, but a penalty on leg four as Oracle Team USA sailed outside the boundary effectively ended their hopes in race eight.
Photo: © 2017 ACEA/ Photo Ricardo Pinto
Again, Emirates Team New Zealand continued to extend their lead, reaching 36 seconds ahead at mark four, sailing their America’s Cup Class (ACC) boat perfectly. This was in contrast to Oracle Team USA whose minor issues kept increasing the difference between the two teams on the racetrack.
Photo: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
It was another dominant display by Burling and the Kiwi team with a 30 second win in race eight over the Defenders, putting them on the brink of winning the 35th America’s Cup.

Race Results

Race Seven:
Emirates Team New Zealand bt ORACLE TEAM USA by 12 seconds
Race Eight:
Emirates Team New Zealand bt ORACLE TEAM USA by 30 seconds

Overall Standings

Emirates Team New Zealand 6*
ORACLE TEAM USA 1

* Emirates Team New Zealand started the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton -1 due to ORACLE TEAM USA’s win in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers

America's Cup Media