Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand have faced off against reigning champions Oracle Team USA to win the 35th edition of the America’s Cup, leaving the final score at 7-1 after two dramatic weeks of racing along the Great Sound in Bermuda.
Race 9 proved to be the decider after both teams cleanly left the starting gate, sailing at up to 30 knots on the first leg to a roaring crowd. Although Oracle Team USA initially pulled ahead, Emirates Team New Zealand recovered lost ground on the second leg and widened the gap throughout the rest of the race to finish 55 seconds ahead of the Oracle Team USA.
“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,” Helmsman Peter Burling for Emirates Team New Zealand commented. “To be able to win eight races in Beautiful 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, we’re just blown away. 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.”
Emirates Team New Zealand won 8 races altogether to secure their victory, having began the series with -1 point due to Oracle Team USA’s win during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup qualifiers.
“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.”
In the America’s Cup 2013 Final Oracle Team USA defended against Emirates New Zealand in San Francisco to narrowly hold on to the title with a final score of 9-8, a result which lead to Emirates Team New Zealand looking to make changes both to the boat design and the skills of the team. The result has been noticeable differences between the design of the Emirates Team New Zealand boat compared to other competitors, most visibly a cycling instead of grinding to charge the hydraulic pressure that keeps the sailing yachts up on the foils. Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton commented on how their past defeat spurred them on to victory in this edition of the America’s Cup:
“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. [One of the points that we had to change] 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.”
Grant Dalton, CEO, Emirates Team New Zealand congratulated Emirates Team New Zealand on their victory, which is their first since 2000:
“I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations and praise to everyone in Emirates Team New Zealand for winning the 35th America’s Cup. 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.”