History repeating? America’s Cup to climax with 2013 rematch
by Chris Jefferies
Emirates Team New Zealand will be hoping that the 35th America’s Cup will not be a case of history repeating itself after the Kiwi team overcame Artemis Racing in the America’s Cup playoff final to qualify for the decisive America’s Cup Match.
As the Defender, Oracle Team USA is guaranteed a place in the best-of-13 showdown that will decide which team takes home the oldest trophy in sport.
The 2017 America’s Cup Match will be a repeat of the 2013 San Francisco race in which the American team came from 8-0 down to win 9-8 — a feat that is widely recognised as one of the greatest comebacks in sailing history.
Speaking after sealing a 5-2 victory over Artemis Racing in the playoff final yesterday (June 12), Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby said: “I think the lessons we learned out of San Francisco have made us stronger going forwards.
“The team has been re-built from the ground up and what has been created is a stronger unit than we’ve ever seen before. The motivation going forwards is certainly there.”
Indeed, Ashby is the only veteran of the 2013 defeat, with the rest of the Emirates New Zealand team having been recruited in the past four years.
The Kiwi team has pedal power on its side, having converted its raceboat so that the grinders can use their leg muscles instead of their arms.
However, Oracle Team USA will have a slight edge heading into the America’s Cup Match, with a bonus point earned by winning the America’s Cup qualifiers.
The teams now have four days to prepare for the America’s Cup Match, which begins on June 17. In the meantime, all eyes will turn to the largest yachts in Bermuda, which will compete in the prestigious America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta from June 13-15.