Kiwis Got Gold Medals, Now Want Silver Cup
Published on September 6th, 2016
After the epic turn of events in 2013, which saw Emirates Team New Zealand fumble an 8-1 lead to lose the 34th America’s Cup, the pendulum for the Kiwis is swinging back. But it took some disruption to get there.
A team shake-up eased out their skipper since 2003. Trust was put into a couple of 49er sailors – Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. Kiwi nation hoped their silver medals from London 2012 and a Youth America’s Cup title had them ready.
Other changes within the team, and funding concerns, instilled more questions. Only Cup historians could recall a time with so much doubt concerning the readiness of New Zealand. So much for the doubters.
All that has occurred is the Kiwi team first unit leading the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series overall after six events and Burling and Tuke obliterating the 49er field at the Rio 2016 Games to get gold.
But with Burling and Tuke away in Rio during the last World Series event, the team took a hit in the standings and now sit in third overall. With only two events remaining, and only the top two teams gaining bonus points for the America’s Cup qualifiers, the Kiwis need to get the pendulum swinging again.
New Zealand’s first unit returns for the penultimate event of the America’s Cup World Series on September 9-11 in Toulon, France. With Burling again on helm and Tuke on trim, the duo is stoked to be back.
“For the past 4 years we have had dual goals we have been working towards, with the Olympics and the America’s Cup,” noted Burling. “With the gold medal now ticked off it feels good to now have a singular focus being part of Emirates Team New Zealand.”
The Emirates Team New Zealand line up will revert to the regular crew that has sailed together for six of the seven Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. That includes Glenn Ashby trimming the wing, Ray Davies on tactics, and Guy Endean, who was also on the Youth America’s Cup team, on grinder.
Ashby explained that it is only getting more and more intense, but the pressure is on the leading two teams to not trip up. “We will be gunning for them, don’t worry about that. We just need to sail as well as we know we can, be consistent and we should be right there in the mix.”
Background: The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) features fleet racing in one design foiling AC45 catamarans. The ACWS forms part of the 35th America’s Cup programme, with ACWS scoring contributing to the selection of the 2017 America’s Cup Challenger. Full schedule.
July 25-26: Portsmouth, UK
August 29-30: Gothenberg, Sweden
October 17-18: Bermuda
February 27-28: Muscat, Oman
May 7-8: New York, USA
June 11-12: Chicago, USA
July 23-24: Portsmouth, UK
September 10-11: Toulon, France
November 19-20: Fukuoka, Japan
Source: Emirates Team New Zealand, Scuttlebutt