Team New Zealand claim first America's Cup win since 2003

Team New Zealand claim first America's Cup win since 2003

Team New Zealand claim first America's Cup win since 2003

Bendigo-born Glenn Ashby skippered Team New Zealand in Bermuda's Great Sound to a crushing 7-1 victory over Team USA, who were guided by Sydney's Jimmy Spithill.

It was Spithill and the team bankrolled by Oracle founder Larry Ellison who in 2013 turned an 1-8 deficit against New Zealand into a 9-8 victory and a successful defense of the oldest trophy in worldwide sport. Oracle then staged one of the biggest comebacks in sports, winning eight straight races to retain the Auld Mug.

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.

"A few years ago, it was absolutely brutal for the team, and it was a hard pill to swallow", Ashby told The New York Times.

"For the sailors and all the other guys who are with the team, it is a great redemption, and I guess a relief to right the wrongs of the last campaign". "It's David and Goliath".

Ellison was on board for the decisive race in 2010, but the move to high-performance, foiling multihulls in San Francisco in 2013 kept him from being part of the crew, and he again watched the races in Bermuda from a chase boat as the six-man crews dueled in foiling catamarans capable of hitting speeds approaching 40 knots even in light winds.

In the meantime, Foley had the same celebration plans as many other New Zealanders: a hearty breakfast.

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He said the team had to live with the damage, testing the foils every night.

While the America's Cup is as much a design as a sailing race, with tens of millions of dollars invested in the racing boats, psychological games are also crucial.

Their "cyclors", including an Olympic cycling medallist, 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.

"We could have raced the next day, but we probably would have got beaten, because we didn't have all our fairings done".

But Burling was an America's Cup neophyte going up against a match racing master in Spithill.

"We're disappointed obviously but first of all full credit to Team New Zealand, what a series", Spithill said.

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.

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