The silver ewer is now in the hands of the Kiwis, who have just secured the oldest sports trophy in the world for the third time. Following their painful, even traumatic defeat of 2013, the New Zealanders have pulled off a stellar, faultless performance with 8 victories to 1 on the scoreboard against the American Defender Oracle Team USA. The latter thus bows out of the competition, passing on the baton this Monday 26 June 2017 after winning the previous two editions.
Congratulations to the Kiwis!
It was in 1995 aboard ‘Black Magic’, that Peter Blake, a sailor recognised for his achievements offshore, led a little island in the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand, to victory. The silver ewer then took off for Auckland. The Kiwis retained it in 2000, but were subsequently defeated in 2003 against the Swiss. In 2013, up against Oracle, the New Zealanders were leading the way 8-1, but had to face up to an unprecedented comeback from the Americans, who went on to win the cup leading to major trauma all round!
Today, it’s the skipper Glenn Ashby and the 26-year-old helmsman Peter Burling, who are bringing home the oldest sports trophy in the world!
“We were certainly surprised by the New Zealanders’ domination in these finals as we hadn’t seen any of that form in the previous phases. The Americans had even won two matches against them in the qualifiers! However, Emirates Team New Zealand was able to progress through and raise its game to another level. The result was an express final with little suspense.
The Kiwis have been very good all-rounders from sailing to design to fine-tuning and showed no sign of weakness. We’re up against a team with significant experience who has managed to rally together its troops again after the massive disappointment of 2013. As a small committee, they’ve worked, they’ve had their vision, they’ve taken risks in terms of technology and design and they’ve dug deep and hung on in there. They’ve been both innovative and aggressive. Their AC Class was fabulous to look at in terms of aerodynamics, energy management and handling and their ability to slip along was beautiful and fluid. Bravo!”
“Back in January, the New Zealanders didn’t sign the agreement that the Defender and ourselves validated. We’d agreed that the cup in 2019 would be raced on the same type of boat. Today, they hold all the cards. We just have to wait. They’ll be in negotiations with the Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa, to outline a type of boat and a race format. I hope we won’t go against the course of history and start backtracking after sailing aboard boats as exceptional as our current AC Class boats. I hope a general intelligence will prevail on the part of the Kiwis and those who hold the reins!”.
The America’s Cup:
“She’s certainly an old lady, but a very intelligent one, who moves with the times! The cup is a concentration of innovation. The design offices often have the means to take on the best in their respective fields and also have the means to develop, break new ground and take their reasoning and their trials as far as they can go. Major national and international companies like AIRBUS and DASSAULT SYSTEMES, car manufacturers and many others, are all part of it. On an intellectual level it’s incredibly exciting and motivating. For my part, it’s a real addiction!”