Thursday, 19 April, 2018

Peter Burling has eyes on making sailing history, completing triple crown

Kristopher Love | 29 June, 2017, 08:58

Burling, 26, supplanted Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill as the youngest to helm an America's Cup victor.

Ultimately a $5 million grant was made in order to help the Kiwis retain some of their talent following San Francisco, but decided against any further public grants under the weight of taxpayer pressure.

His extensive knowledge and accomplishments in multihulls proved a winning combination with New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling and for Ashby, the disappointment of the 2013 San Francisco campaign was a motivator towards success this year.

"This is about New Zealand as a whole - every single person in New Zealand will benefit from this challenge".

There was an air of inevitability as Emirates Team New Zealand put the finishing touches to their triumphant Americas Cup campaign.

It was Coutts who first won the America's Cup for the small sailing-mad island nation, skippering Team New Zealand to a five-race sweep of Dennis Conner off San Diego in 1995.

Spithill hoped to steer Oracle — bankrolled by American billionaire Larry Ellison — to a third successive title and said the defeat will take time to digest. "It is exactly what we came here for", Burling said.

Glenn's parents John and Lyn watched the America's Cup on television from their Eppalock home.

Having won Olympic gold in the 49er class at Rio previous year alongside Team NZ foil trimmer Blair Tuke, who also harbours ambitions of doing the iconic round the world event, there is just one more box to tick.

The association said the Team New Zealand's success gave the local marine industry worldwide business opportunities and "with the right planning and investment by central and local government, gives New Zealand the opportunity to make a significant point of difference to New Zealand as a country".

New Zealanders, in their uniform of black shirts and red socks, feted the victors with flags and cheers as Burling, Ashby and the team lifted the ornate silver trophy, which they later paraded triumphantly back to their base.

"For myself and Blair we haven't really had any time off for about three and a half years".

"It's a real David and Goliath story".

"We're competing with other sports to get kids' attention".

He has also brought a youthful confidence to New Zealand's rejuvenated campaign to regain the "Auld Mug".

"The foresight that we had as a team to be aggressive and bold in our design philosophy has ultimately provided us with the victory here today", Ashby said.

The Kiwis' fast boat was powered by a revolutionary grinding system in which they replaced traditional arm power with leg power.

Spithill claimed the first of his two Cups as skipper aged 30 in 2010 with Team USA. "They fully deserve it; hats off to them".

Team New Zealand have said they will start to reveal details for the next America's Cup in the coming weeks but many people anticipate it being held in Auckland.