Emirates Team New Zealand COO Kevin Shoebridge, CEO Grant Dalton, Helmsman Peter Burling, Team Principal Matteo de Nora and Skipper Glenn Ashby hold up the America's Cup Trophy after defeating Oracle Team USA  in the Great Sound, Bermuda
Emirates Team New Zealand COO Kevin Shoebridge, CEO Grant Dalton, Helmsman Peter Burling, Team Principal Matteo de Nora and Skipper Glenn Ashby hold up the America's Cup Trophy after defeating Oracle Team USA in the Great Sound, Bermuda JOHN G. MABANGLO

Kiwis avenge defeat to claim America's Cup

SAILING: New Zealand finally has its revenge. After four years of waiting, the Kiwis have won the America's Cup by crushing old adversary Oracle Team USA.

Led by 26-year-old helmsman Peter Burling, NZ downed the defending champions 7-1 in the first to seven points series - four years after it surrendered a seemingly unassailable 8-1 lead in San Francisco (when it was first to nine).

NZ, in fact, required eight race wins, having started at minus one due to the US topping the standings in round-robin qualifying.

Dominant on Bermuda's Great Sound, New Zealand claimed the cup for the third time, after victories with Black Magic in 1995 and 2000.

Oracle Team USA helmsman and skipper Jimmy Spithill acknowledges the crowd
Oracle Team USA helmsman and skipper Jimmy Spithill acknowledges the crowd JOHN G. MABANGLO

Only four countries - the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland -- have won the coveted trophy.

"We're all ecstatic about what we have managed to achieve and we are on top of the world,” Burling said. "It's going to be a good night.”

Burling supplanted Team USA skipper Australian Jimmy Spithill as the youngest helmsman to claim the oldest trophy in international sport. Spithill was 30 when he first steered the US to victory in 2010.

"We're obviously disappointed, but full credit to Team New Zealand. What a series. They made fewer mistakes and they fully deserve it so our hats are off to them,” he said.

"I believe it's been the best America's Cup to date - the racing's been incredible.”


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