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Team New Zealand retain America’s Cup

T

eam New Zealand have won the 36th America’s Cup, retaining the ‘Auld Mug’ after seeing off Italy’s Luna Rossa.

The home team secured a 7-3 series victory with three races in the best-of-13 series to go, the peerless ‘Te Rehutai’ yacht securing a win in Wednesday’s 10th race by 46 seconds.

Success for the New Zealand team followed their victory in 2019 at the Golden Gate Yacht Club in Bermuda, when they beat Oracle Team USA 7-1. Peter Burling was TNZ helmsman for both.

The 30-year-old Olympic champion sprayed his teammates with champagne as they celebrated on deck after delivering the country its fourth America’s Cup.

“It’s unreal. Seeing all the people involved over three-four years, how many Kiwis out here supporting the campaign — messages from everyone, from the Prime Minister to high school kids, it means the world to us,” said Burling.

Peter Burling, middle, helmed his team to a second successive win.

/ AFP via Getty Images

“We’re blown away by what we’ve achieved as a group.”

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli had taken an early lead in the race for the Auld Mug, leading 2-1 and 3-2, but they lost four races in a row between Saturday and Tuesday to put New Zealand on the brink of victory.

The 10th race, on the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, was due to be held on Tuesday but poor wind conditions saw it moved back.

Luna Rossa co-helmsman Jimmy Spithill lost a second successive America’s Cup to TNZ, having broken New Zealand hearts in the 2013 match by captaining Oracle Team USA to eight successive race wins for a 9-8 victory in San Francisco.

“Obviously, pretty disappointed,” said the Australian. “I felt like we could have won a few more races against the Kiwis, but to be quite honest, at times it felt we were taking a knife to a gunfight.


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