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Mission accomplished: New Zealand plan brings America’s Cup revenge

HAMILTON, Bermuda, June 26 (Reuters) – New Zealand lifted the America’s Cup on Monday, nearly white-washing the USA holders with a revolutionary boat and a new superstar sailor avenging a humbling defeat four years ago.New Zealand dominated Monday’s final of the 35th America’s Cup, reclaiming sailing’s most prestigious prize and global sport’s oldest trophy.One certainty for the other teams thinking of the next campaign is that Italy’s Luna Rossa, which is backed by the Italian luxury goods group Prada, has been chosen as the Challenger of Record for the 36th America’s Cup.”It’s a testament to the team’s grit and determination that they won the Auld Mug back for New Zealand”.”To be able to win eight races in Beautiful Bermuda in front of a big crowd of our own fans is overwhelming, we’re just happy to be able to share this moment with them, we’re just blown away”.The only non-Kiwi on the crew is Ashby, a 39-year-old Australian, multihull wiz and Olympic silver medalist who serves as skipper and controls the space-age wingsail with an Xbox-like device.Oracle seemed to have found significant boat speed on Saturday, when they won their first race of the Americas Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, after making several technical changes, including the removal of their lone pedal-grinding mechanism.I take back everything I said, America’s Cup is an awesome sport.The Cup has only been in the hands of four countries in its history: The United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland. “Its a great redemption and just a relief to right the wrongs of the last campaign.”We definitely had a bit of a bumpy road at times, we faced a bit of adversity at times”, Burling said, adding that the spectacular capsize which almost ended the Kiwi campaign during the semi-final did not haunt him “at all”.”I feel incredibly proud to have achieved this. and hopefully will have shown all the teams that it’s an advantage to have a girl on board”.”It’s been a massive push for everyone in this team, but, myself and Blair, we haven’t really had any time off in about three and a half years”.Goff, who campaigned against further reclamation of the harbour for port use, said he was prepared to look at the wharf extension on the grounds of what was best for Auckland long-term and what was good for Team New Zealand.Even though the New Zealanders were on match point and close to a crushing win, there was an undercurrent of anxiety as bleary-eyed patrons sipped coffee and tucked into cooked breakfasts.”They made fewer mistakes and they fully deserve it so our hats are off to them”, said Spithill, who claimed the first of his two Cups as skipper aged 30 in 2010 with Team USA. A $200 million Park Hyatt hotel is being built on land occupied by the Team New Zealand base.