New Zealand won the America’s Cup on Monday (June 26), almost white-washing the U.S. holders with a revolutionary boat and a new superstar sailor to avenge a humbling defeat four years ago.
A dominant Emirates Team New Zealand claimed international sport’s oldest trophy by 7-1 in Bermuda’s Great Sound, with 26-year-old Peter Burling becoming the youngest helmsman to secure sailing’s biggest prize.
In doing so, Burling usurped New Zealand’s nemesis, Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, who won the cup in 2010, while aged 30 years old.
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.
New Zealand won the right to take on the U.S. by beating four other “challengers”, using cycling sailors known as “cyclors” to provide pedal power to control their foiling 50-foot (15 metre) catamaran’s vast “wing” sail and hydrofoils.
The New Zealand crew have been on a mission to wipe out the hurt inflicted on the sports-mad country by the team who in 2013 turned an 8-1 deficit against New Zealand into a 9-8 victory.
New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby, who has a low-key but critical role on board “trimming” the giant wing with a games console-type device, was the only one of the crew beaten in 2013 who took part in this year’s winning combination.