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NZ Through To America’s Cup Challenge

  • June 7th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

americas-cup.jpgNew Zealand will be the challenger for the America’s Cup, after its entrant, Emirates Team New Zealand, beat the last of ten other challengers today (6.6.07) off Valencia in Spain.

Yachts representing nine countries (China, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Spain and the United States) have been battling their way through a series of events to see which would make the challenge.

New Zealand beat the Italian entrant, Luna Rossa Challenge, by 22 seconds today, a comfortable-enough margin for this standard-design class, to complete a whitewash of five races to nil – to the plain delight of the large flock of Kiwis now present along the waterfront .

It will take on the present cup-holder, the Swiss boat Alinghi, in a fresh first-to-five contest starting on 23 June – and a re-match following New Zealand’s defeat by the Swiss last time, in 2003.

The America’s Cup competition, match-racing for large yachts, started after the schooner America defeated a British champion off the Isle of Wight in 1851. The trophy stayed in American hands through several challenges up to 1937, and the series was then revived in 1958 with a British challenge, then the first Australian attempt, by Gretel. The United States finally lost the America’s Cup, to Australia II in 1981.

Apart from the United States, Australia has held it the one time, New Zealand twice, and Switzerland once, after its 2003 victory at Auckland. The Swiss challenge, and defence, have been in the name of the Geneva yacht club, but the teams have opted to contest the prize in the Mediterranean in Summer, rather than a mountain lake.

Picture: America’s Cup, Wikipedia