Please select your home edition
Ocean Safety 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Phenomenal Emirates Team New Zealand win the 36th America's Cup

by Hamish Hooper, Emirates Team New Zealand 17 Mar 09:27 GMT 10-17 March 2021
Emirates Team New Zealand win the 36th America's Cup © ACE / Studio Borlenghi

Both crews headed out to the Hauraki Gulf today looking to keep it simple, and stick to what they had trained for years to do.

That was the plan - and then Emirates Team New Zealand lifted the intensity after the start of Race 10, to take their fifth race in a row and win the 36th America's Cup presented by Prada.

Race 10

After a delay for the race committee to shift the marks and accommodate the 7-10 knots breeze out on Course A, it was Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli who entered the start box first on port, and as they did so you could hear co-helmsman Jimmy Spithill reinforce that the right-hand side of the start line looked good. The crew onboard Emirates Team New Zealand certainly knew this, and tacking high above the line, came back in for Pete Burling to place Te Rehutai perfectly with ten seconds to go, and out positioned the Italians at the start, to then peel off to the right hand side of the course. Coming back in and taking advantage of a right hand shift, Emirates Team New Zealand came in leading, and slammed a tack on the Challengers. First blood and a small lead to Burling and crew.

From there it was close: The Italians came back in to duck below, which allowed Te Rehutai out to the left of the course looking for more gains, which they found and headed through the first top gate with a lead of seven seconds. It was tight, but we were about to see just what Te Rehutai was capable of, stretching out to a 250 metre lead and sailing at 41 knots. At the bottom of leg 2, that lead extended to 9 seconds after they sailed to the breeze rather than cover their opponents. Heading into the same mark, both boats gybed, and Emirates Team New Zealand rounded wide, but Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli struggled behind them, sailing with both foils down for too long, slowing them and suddenly Te Rehutai was 250 metres ahead on leg 3.

That opened the door for Emirates Team New Zealand, and when you give sailors the calibre of Peter Burling a sniff at an opportunity like that - he will take it with both hands, and shut down every opportunity for you to get back into the race. Ahead, and in clean but shifty air, the team extended into better pressure, then looked to extend further.

Clear, calm and unhurried communication between Burling, Tuke, and Ashby allowed them to sail their own race - and with a constant breeze, fans ashore began to sense a victory here. At Gate 4 that lead extended to 37 seconds, and at the final top gate it was 49 seconds, and a 400 metres lead.

Down the final leg 650 metres out in front, cheered on by their fans at home and around the world, Te Rehutai crossed the line at 38 knots with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli crossing 46 seconds later, but as we know in this the oldest trophy in international sport - there is no second place. The sensational victory today was brilliantly executed by the entire team. The after guard working seamlessly, and the grinders, heads down, pouring power from the handles up to the trimmers, allowing them to throw Te Rehutai around and dominate their opposition.

Today was a stunning victory for the team, who were quite open about the lack of boat-on-boat racing experience in this new AC75 class at the beginning of this event. This meant the team had to lift their game and learn fast, taking key lessons out of the regatta as they moved forwards one race each, until Races 7 and 8, when they lifted their game and rolled over the Italians to dominate the event through Races 9 and 10: Winning the regatta 7-3 and retaining the oldest trophy in international sport.

For winning skipper, Peter Burling - he couldn't thank his supporters enough - "We have been getting messages from the Prime Minister to high school kids. It just means the world to us as a team. We have been learning all week, and today we really showed what this boat can do, and so to win on home waters is something our entire team is incredibly proud of."

Onboard the Challenger, Francesco Bruni thanked the team and supporters of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, saying, "It is not finished - and with all this experience in the team we will try again. Thank you Italia, grazie Italia."

After winning the Cup in Bermuda in 2017, CEO Grant Dalton and Emirates Team New Zealand wanted to create a new America's Cup class, to promote fast, close, and exhilarating sailing. With the AC75 they have achieved this and more. Changing the perception of yacht racing forever, as spectators witnessed nine lead changes in one race, and in the finals, turning a heart stopping four minute deficit into nearly a four minute victory.

The celebrations began onboard Emirates Team New Zealand after they crossed the finish line, and will continue on throughout the night after the prize-giving. The final word goes to Emirates Team New Zealand flight controller Blair Tuke, "What a beauty! Time to enjoy it! To win the America's Cup on home waters - unbelievable! To know the work that has gone into this. Just huge from the whole team. It has been a massive honour to race in from of five million Kiwis, and to know we have had their support!"

Related Articles

Cup champions develop hydrogen powered chase boat
Emirates Team NZ designers are working on a prototype hydrogen powered foiling chase boat Emirates Team New Zealand designers are working on a prototype hydrogen powered foiling chase boat, to be built at the team's North Shore build facility, capable of supporting an AC75 throughout all aspects of an America's Cup campaign. Posted on 7 Jun
36th America's Cup Day 6: The Game Plan
Keeping it simple, always focusing on the next race Both teams headed out to course C onto the Hauraki Gulf today with the same game plan. Keeping it simple - and just focusing on the next race. Posted on 16 Mar
36th America's Cup Day 5: The Mental Game
Clear thinking and staying cool under extreme pressure After a day of no racing yesterday, both teams re-set for Races 7 & 8 today on three wins apiece, and with the pressure building to break the deadlock in the 36th America's Cup presented by Prada, the mental game becomes more intense. Posted on 15 Mar
36th America's Cup Day 3: Light, Tight and Intense
The pressure ratchets up another notch With the America's Cup Defender Emirates Team New Zealand and Challenger Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli tied on two wins apiece going into today's racing, the intensity - already brutally high, ratchets up another notch. Posted on 13 Mar
36th America's Cup Day 2: Light and Tricky
Emirates Team New Zealand happy with their performance Following a delay due to spectators encroaching the the racecourse boundaries, Race 3 started with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli entering course E on port. Posted on 12 Mar
36th America's Cup Day 1: The Opening Battles
Emirates Team New Zealand finally racing after four years of intense work There is a magical moment in America's Cup history, with the big question mark on the relative speeds of the two boats - a mystery to be revealed today on the first leg of the first race out on Course E. Who would be faster? Posted on 10 Mar
Emirates Team New Zealand: It's time to race
Defenders set for the 36th America's Cup match After almost four years, it is finally time for the 36th America's Cup presented by Prada - and what a lead-up it has been. Posted on 9 Mar
The Warehouse supports ETNZ to go carbon-zero
The Warehouse has partnered with ETNZ to offset the team's carbon emissions for the campaign. The Warehouse has partnered with Emirates Team New Zealand to offset the team's carbon emissions for its 36th America's Cup campaign. The partnership will see ETNZ become the first America's Cup syndicate to have a Toitu carbon-zero certified campaign. Posted on 17 Feb
America's Cup: ThoR comes aboard Cup champions
The Heart of Racing (THoR), an automotive racing programme is ETNZ's latest sponsor The Heart of Racing (THoR), an automotive racing programme that raises money for Starship Children's Hospital, has just become sailing team Emirates Team New Zealand's newest sponsor. Posted on 11 Feb
Tina Symmans to chair America's Cup Events Ltd
Emirates Team New Zealand has formed a separate company to run the America's Cup in Auckland in 2021 Tina Symmans, who has been a director of Emirates Team New Zealand is to be Chair of Americas Cup Event Ltd (ACE). Greg Horton who has also been on the Emirates Team New Zealand Board will also now join the Board of ACE Posted on 14 Sep 2018