Amazing year for America’s Cup sailors


Innovation and excellence were key factors in Emirates Team New Zealand’s dominance in claiming the America’s Cup this morning, including an immensely talented bunch of Kiwi sailors.

Photo: Ricardo Pinto / ACEA

Team New Zealand this morning won back the Auld Mug after completing a comprehensive 7-1 victory over Oracle. At the forefront were a handful of young sailors in their prime, led by the wisdom of a number of previous America’s Cup sailors and backed by an innovative team.

Virtually ever-present on the boat throughout the campaign were four members of Yachting New Zealand’s Olympic programme (the NZL Sailing Team) – Peter Burling, Blair Tuke, Josh Junior and Andy Maloney – who collected a record-equalling four medals at last year’s Olympics. Not only did Burling and Tuke win gold in Rio but they also won every major regatta following the 2012 London Olympics.

All four have shown a clear pathway from the Olympics to the America’s Cup and their talent has been harnessed by the likes of Murray Jones and Ray Davies who guided a young team through the challenges of a Cup campaign.

Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie said Emirates Team New Zealand’s success was a fantastic achievement and congratulated the entire team for their success.

“This is a tremendous result and a reflection of innovative design and wonderful sailors,” Abercrombie said. “Emirates Team New Zealand have shown the advantage of having young, dynamic people with a massive work ethic and who know how to win. What we are seeing is a new breed of designers and talented athletes. Who knows what else they can do?

“We would like to pass on our massive congratulations to Peter, Blair, Andy and Josh, as well as Guy Endean who was a member of the 2013 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup-winning NZL Sailing Team. We’re really proud to have played a role in their development and in helping Emirates Team New Zealand bring the Cup home. The future of high performance sailing, whether it’s the Olympics or America’s Cup, is in a great position.

“We would also like to pass on our congratulations to the entire team, from the likes of chief executive Grant Dalton to the boat builders and sail makers, and chief operations officer Kevin Shoebridge and skipper Glenn Ashby to the designers. They have clearly put together an amazing campaign under the most difficult of circumstances. We look forward to seeing what shape the America’s Cup takes next and we’re sure it’s one that will capture the imagination of Kiwis."

Abercrombie expected to see the level of interest in sailing increase and encouraged any potential new sailors to contact their local yacht club to find out how they can learn to sail. A list of clubs can be found on the Yachting New Zealand website.

Photo: Ricardo Pinto / ACEA

27 Jun 2017
27 Jun 2017