Congratulations to the Emirates Team New Zealand 2017 America's Cup Winners! Woohooo!
Such a remarkable achievement and brilliant comeback in the sport of sailing, after suffering a devisating loss in the last America's Cup held in San Fransico in 2013. Not that we want to talk about it too much, but we were blindsided by limitless wealth and state-of-the-art-technology, as Oracle Team USA came from being 8-1 down, to an upset which placed the cup in their hands. New Zealand is now the caretakers of the Cup for the next 4 years and we couldn't be happier!
How does the America's Cup World Series work?
Well before the 6 teams arrived in Bermuda they all raced in the America's Cup World Series, this is help in 9 different locations. The team Land Rover BAR ended up winning the series and obtained 2 bonus points into the America's Cup qualifying series, and Oracle Team USA earnt 1 point for finishing second. Emirates Team New Zealand had an interesting time with only 6 wins out of 40 races, but ended up in 3rd place overall.
What about the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifying series?
On to Bermuda for the start of the America's Cup regatta with the five qualifying teams along with the defenders Oracle Team USA racing each other in two rounds with the top four challengers advancing to the playoffs. Oracle were only playing for the chance to take a bonus point into the America's cup, which they achieved by finishing top of the standings with eight victories and two defeats. Team New Zealand also finished with an eight-win, two loss record but vitally those two TNZ defeats were against Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA. Day one had Oracle Team USA passing Emirates Team New Zealand on the sixth mark to win by just six seconds. They raced again on the final day of the qualifying series which was a race for the America's Cup bonus point, unfortunately though New Zealand at that time made costly errors and ended up second.
Team New Zealand still finished as the top qualifier and picked Ben Ainslie Racing as their semifinal opponent.
Then there was the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifying semifinals...
Team New Zealand lined up against Land Drover BAR but unfortunately Ben Ainlie's boat suffered a broken camber arm which they had to retire from race one and withdrawl from race two. Emirates Team New Zealand beat them in race 3. The heart-stopping moment when New Zealand dramtically pitch-poled their boat in some windy conditions the next day, meant ETNZ had to withdrawl from race 4. Thankfully all of the crew were fine, but the shorecrew worked tirelessly to fix the boat intime for the next race. Luckily due to unfavourable conditions, racing the following day was called off and they had another full day to make repairs to their boat. Land Drover BAR won race 6. Now the score was 4-2 to New Zealand in the first to five series. The following day ETNZ were back out and racing on "match point" where they beat the British for the victory.
In the other semifinal races, Swedish's Artemis beat Team Japan 5-3.
How about that Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifier final?
Emirates Team New Zealand advanced through to their fifth America's Cup final with an exciting series win over Artemis. ETNZ and Artemis both won a race each at the start, with Artemis retiring from race 3, giving ETNZ the lead 2-1. Race 3 was also another dramatic day on the water with the Artemis Helmsman Nathan Outteridge slipping overboard as they approached the final gate - providing ETNZ with another valuable point.
Artemis came back strong the next day with another win, before having to retire due to a mechanical error from race 5. Team New Zealand went on and won the series 5-2, which secured them the challengers spot to race Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup.
A Fantastic America's Cup!
Emirates Team New Zealand started out being -1 race point down however beat Oracle Team USA by 30 seconds in race 1 and then winning by over 1 minute in race 2.
Day 2 and ETNZ won 2 more races and were now beating the American's with a 3-0 lead. This was a great start from New Zealand as now there was a 5 day break, which the American's made no secrete they were going to use to their advantage and work 24 hours a day.
Coming back from the days off and ETNZ won another race, making it 4-0. It was evident that the American's had made their boat significantly lighter which was also faster, but the boat also provided quite challenging to sail.
Oracle beat us in race 6 which made it 4-1. Next was race 7 and 8 - both of which ETNZ were like a stategic fire cracker at the start, winning both of the starts and taking both of the wins, bringing New Zealand to match point.
As lightbulbs were ignited early around the country, Peter Burley and the Emirates Team New Zealand crew, smashed out a magical and perfect race win, beating Oracle 9-1 and claiming vicotry to the 35th America's Cup!