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Dominant New Zealand seal America's Cup success

27 June 2017

Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling, left, and teammate Glenn Ashby wave as they stand next to the Americas Cup trophy after defeating Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup sailing competition Monday, June 26, 2017, in Hamilton, Bermuda.

A dominant Emirates Team New Zealand claimed global sport's oldest trophy by 7-1 in Bermuda's Great Sound, with 26-year-old Peter Burling becoming the youngest helmsman to win sailing's biggest prize.

Olympic Silver medallist in 2008, 15 time World Champion across three multihull classes including eight in the A-class, 10 time Australian A Class champion and now dual America's Cup victor - 2010 as head coach of BMW Oracle beating Alinghi and now as skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand against Oracle Team USA in Bermuda - for Glenn Ashby, that's quite an achievement!

The America's Cup was last won by a team representing New Zealand in 2000 and they are now the Defenders of the America's Cup for the 36th installment of the competition for the oldest trophy in global sport.

When Prada boss Patrizio Bertelli pulled the team backed by the Italian luxury goods group out of the competition in April 2015, he offered key members of his team to help Emirates Team New Zealand, which is now challenging Oracle Team USA. However, it was not to be.

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"We're just blown away by what we've been able to achieve out here today", Burling said.

Predictwind.com has it nearer the Emirates Team New Zealand forecast of 9-12 knots. "We will not try and impose our will on it to make sure we'll hold onto it at all costs".

Magnums of champagne arrived and Burling and crewman Blair Tuke, who won Olympic gold and silver medals together, sprayed the crew.

Sports Minister Jonathan Coleman said he also hoped to see the next America's Cup hosted in New Zealand, but that was for Team NZ to decide. We knew one or the other would have to win.”.

Beaten to the first mark by Team USA, New Zealand seized the lead on the second leg and sailed confidently on to win by 55 seconds.

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But while the America's Cup is as much a design as a sailing race, with tens of millions of dollars invested in the racing boats, psychological games are also crucial.

Burling and crew, who went in as underdogs, now bring the America's Cup back to New Zealand for the first time since 2000.

But regatta director Iain Murray said that there are those who are frustrated that the bulk of the work for the six crew aboard the AC50 catamarans is grinding to power the hydraulics systems.

Team New Zealand's Australian skipper, Glenn Ashby, has laid to rest the ghosts of 2013 by helping the Kiwis to victory in the America's Cup.

This included the decision to employ "cyclors", sailors who pedal to provide the hydraulic power needed to drive the boat, rather than traditional "grinders", who use their arms. "They fully deserve it; hats off to them".

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Defeated skipper Jimmy Spithill called the Kiwis "a class above".