America’s Cup: How the Lone Wolf won

Published on June 30th, 2017

Late in 2016, when they refused to sign an agreement on how the next two America’s Cups would be conducted, Emirates Team New Zealand was cast in the role of being a ‘Lone Wolf’.

The moniker has stuck with the team since then and has been the hallmark of a campaign that has struggled financially and has been forced to eke the most out of the resources that it does have.

That struggle made their America’s Cup win on June 26 in Bermuda, all the more sweeter.

“We have been the Lone Wolf from Day 1,” says skipper Glenn Ashby. “We have had to adopt that as our stance – as we were away from everyone. But we also had to be the Lone Wolf in our design philosophy and our projection and anticipation of where the bar would ultimately be, in this cycle.

“We have definitely run our own course, and it has proven to be the correct one.”

Emirates Team New Zealand stayed out of Bermuda, arriving two years after Oracle Team USA. The risk for the other teams was that they became too familiar with each other, and risked becoming clones of each other.

With that strategy and situation, they were always vulnerable to a team like Emirates Team New Zealand coming at the group from out of left field, with different ideas and a different approach.

“We ultimately didn’t have a choice as to when we came over,” said Ashby.

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