Aukland, New Zealand – 3/17/2021 – Once again Emirates Team New Zealand has entered the history books and won the America’s Cup for New Zealand for the fourth time.
On day 7 of the 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA, the Kiwis scored the 7th point they needed to raise the Auld Mug in front of thousands of spectators .
A spectacular achievement for Emirates Team New Zealand and the yacht club they represent, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Another confirmation that – in sailing – the Southern hemisphere country of 5 million people can punch way above its weight.
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, fought until the last race and the team showed talent and experience throughout the whole event and their story is far from over.
Race 10 – Emirates Team New Zealand beat Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
Current: 0.3 knots @ 352
Wind: 10 knots 065 degrees
Winner: Emirates Team New Zealand 0.46
With the home team just one win away from the 36th America’s Cup, if the sense of occasion wasn’t producing enough tension ahead of the seventh day of racing, the weather was adding extra pressure, teasing all as the sea breeze appeared reluctant to develop.
After a 30 minutes 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 the 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.
As both came back towards the line Emirates Team New Zealand had started to windward of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, coming in slightly late to the line and tacking off onto port straight away to take the right-hand side of the course. Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli found themselves in a right-hand shift and was unable to tack across. The Kiwis were able to lock into the right-handed breeze and gained the early advantage.
As the pair came together the Kiwis tacked in front of Luna Rossa forcing the Italians to tack back onto starboard and allowing themselves to go back to the right-hand side of the course. A strong tactic following a solid and confident start. As the pair came back together for the second time the Italians had made distance and ducked the Kiwis as they crossed. Luna Rossa was now able to get to the right-hand side of the course.
As the breeze fluctuated the key was to get into phase with the breeze. Around Gate 1 it was Emirates Team New Zealand that led by 7 seconds taking the right-hand mark while Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli took the left-hand mark. A split was what the Italians wanted if they were to find a passing lane on the downwind leg. The Kiwi task was to close down the opportunities. Downwind, having swapped sides the Kiwis were sailing at 41 knots to the Italians’ 39 knots but as the pair came into gate 2 the game was still close as Luna Rossa trailed by just 9 seconds.
Meanwhile, Emirates Team New Zealand headed out to the right-hand side of the course, protecting their position whenever required. But as the second beat unfolded the Kiwis started to stretch out their lead, increasing the distance to around 300m on the water.
By now they were free to choose the mark that they wanted at gate 2 taking the left-hand side and leading by 27seconds. Luna Rossa split once again taking the right-hand mark in an effort to find a different and quicker route down leg 4. But even if they were to find more breeze, the Kiwis were sailing consistently quicker and had pulled the distance out to over 500 m. By gate 4 that had translated into a lead of 37 seconds as they rounded the left-hand mark to head out to the left-hand side of the course.
Behind them, Luna Rossa took the right-hand mark and did the more difficult move to get out to the right-hand side of the course and continue to keep out of phase with their opponents. The third upwind leg offered little in the way of a comeback for the Italians. All they could hope for now was for their opponents to make a mistake.
Through the last gate, Emirates Team New Zealand took the right-hand mark rounding 49 seconds ahead as they headed off on the last leg of what would surely be the last race in the 36th America’s Cup.
A race and a win that would see them take the oldest sporting trophy in international sport. After 10 races and a scoreline of 7:3 the America’s Cup was New Zealand’s once again.
Race Village Capacity
America’s Cup Event have capacity limitations due to the ability to be able to evacuate people safely. Crowd capacity limits are applied to 8 zones within the race village – for example, Te Wero Island – and these are expected to be reached. This will require ACE to implement its “full house” plan and to stop entry into areas that have reached capacity. Where space allows, the public will be directed to other zones within the village. On race days we will use our channels to provide updates to the general public on capacity in the race village including TVNZ, GoldAM, AC36 website, and social media and VMS display boards.
Cover photo: Auckland, New Zealand – 3/17/2021 – 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada, America’s Cup Match – America’s Cup Trophy, Prize Giving to winner Emirates Team New Zealand. Photo ACE | Studio Borlenghi