Team New Zealand has won the Luis Vuitton series against Luna Rossa, earning the right to contest the America’s Cup against Oracle.
. . .They clinched the Louis Vuitton finals for the third time in the 30 year history of the event, their only defeat coming after a gear failure in race two of the finals.
With the much anticipated showdown with Oracle less than a fortnight away, Team NZ will spend the next 13 days fine-tuning crew work and seeking further boat speed from their AC72 catamaran. . .
The first of 17 races for the Cup is on September 8.
This contest is often criticised for being not so much sport as a game for the wealthy and a triumph of engineering and technology rather than prowess.
There is an element of truth in that but no-one watching the races could deny the skill and strength of the crews.
And just as athletes who could never make it to the Olympics are inspired by champions, the many thousands of New Zealanders who mess around in boats, and many who don’t, get a thrill, and inspiration, from watching elite sportsmen compete, and triumph, in yachting.
There could also be a boost for business with the recognition for our boat builders.