With the hopes of a nation on their shoulders and the wind in their sails, Emirates Team New Zealand has regained the America’s Cup in Bermuda in classic Kiwi style.
In a real life David and Goliath story the Kiwis showed the sporting courage, calm and ingenuity that New Zealand has become famous for. Back home, there was all-round jubilation as Kiwis rose early to gather in front of television screens to watch their boys sail to victory in the 35th America’s Cup.
In Auckland, the locals are already gearing up for a big welcome back and the next round. While there is no official confirmation from Team New Zealand as yet, it is likely that the next challenge will take place once again in Auckland – dubbed ‘the city of sails’ and the home of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron which has already accepted the challenge from Italy’s Luna Rossa.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive, Stephen England-Hall said: “Congratulations to Team New Zealand on a spectacular performance. This win yet again highlights New Zealand on the global stage and is good news for the whole country.”
In a proud sailing nation, the return of The Auld Mug will keep Kiwi excitement simmering away until 2021 when the next challenge is expected to take place, pending an official announcement.
New Zealand has a long history in the event claiming the Cup for the first time in 1995 from the San Diego Yacht Club, going on to defend the title in Auckland five years later. Eventually Team New Zealand lost the Cup to Alinghi in 2003, and it has been a long 14-year wait for the Kiwis to claim it once more.
Auckland's viaduct, home of the 2000 and 2003 America's Cup, will have a fireworks display tonight (June 27 NZT) and the iconic Sky Tower will light up in black and white.
In true New Zealand style, a parade is in the planning for Auckland city for the team’s homecoming. A big crowd will be expected to line the streets of New Zealand’s largest city reminiscent of famous scenes in 1995 when Sir Peter Blake and Russell Coutts brought the America’s Cup to New Zealand for the first time.
Quick Facts – New Zealand and the America’s Cup
- New Zealand first won the America’s Cup in 1995 in San Diego
- New Zealand successfully defended the America’s Cup in 2000, only to lose it in 2003 in Auckland
- New Zealand regained the cup in 2017 in Bermuda beating BMW Oracle 7-1
- Emirates Team New Zealand was the first non-American team to successfully win and then defend the America’s Cup
- Kiwi sailors were represented across almost every competing team in the 35th America’s Cup
- At 26, New Zealand’s Peter Burling (current Emirates Team NZ helmsman) became the youngest helmsman to win an America’s Cup race (in the final race of the 2017 event)