Thousands of people are expected to join a victory parade in Auckland City as the winners and stakeholders of America’s Cup return home with the coveted trophy.
Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) Chief Executive Brett O’Riley said that the date and time of the homecoming parade for Emirates Team New Zealand will be announced in due course.
“It has been 14 years since the America’s Cup left New Zealand. Emirates Team New Zealand’s efforts to reclaim the cup have done our country proud, and we congratulate the team on their monumental achievement. It is great to see another example of the world class technology and talent that organisations like ETNZ develop in Auckland winning out on the world stage, adding further weight to our region’s standing as an innovation hub of the Asia Pacific,” he said.
ETNZ won the 35th America’s Cup, beating Oracle Team USA by 7-1 at the Great Sounds- Bermuda on June 27, 2017, the first victory for New Zealand since 2000.
It was an epic team effort led by Olympic Gold medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.
The win was redemption for the team which had lost the 34th America’s Cup four years ago in San Francisco 9-8 to Oracle Team USA.
Since then, the team has seen many changes, including the exit of former captain Dean Barker. The class of 2017 was in supreme form since the qualifiers started in May.
They beat Team Artemis from Sweden in the finals to set up a rematch with the Australian Jimmy Spithill led Team Oracle.
The Auld Mug
Right from the start, young Burling led the squad with a quest to win the oldest trophy in world sport – affectionately called the ‘Auld Mug.’
They led USA 4-0, before the Oracle boat claimed victory in race six to make it 4-1 at the end of day three of racing. In the end, Team New Zealand took the top honour convincingly with a 350 metres lead and a 55-seconds winning margin.
This win made Helmsman Burling (26) from Tauranga, the youngest person to win the race for the America’s Cup. Team skipper Glenn Ashby and CEO Grant Dalton were integral to the squad’s success.
The team was up against one of the biggest and richest sailing conglomerates in the world in Team Oracle. Oracle had access to the best technology and manpower but fell short against Kiwi ingenuity and hard work.
New Zealand’s sailing vessel Aotearoa is an America’s Cup Class (ACC) boat built in Auckland and technology, powering it mostly based out of Dunedin.
The action will shift to Auckland as ETNZ defends the Auld Mug after four years under home conditions.
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Auckland (home to ETNZ) has been challenged by Yacht Club Sicilia- representing Team Luna Rossa.
The Italian team will have a tough task squaring up against Team New Zealand –on current form this team can fly on water.
The Winning Moment- Revenge and Redemption in Bermuda
(Picture Courtesy: Emirates Team New Zealand)