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america's cup - nz 2nd squad wins

  1. cerhob

    18,558 posts.
    02.03.2003
    3.25pm NZ
    After 152 years, sporting's oldest trophy has gone to a European country.

    The new home of the America's Cup is the Societe Nautique de Geneve in landlocked Switzerland.

    Ernest Bertarelli, the billionaire owner of a Swiss pharmaceuticals company, and his international crew of polished professionals claimed the cup this afternoon on the Hauraki Gulf with a 45-second win over cup defender Team New Zealand.

    Bertarelli's Alinghi Challenge swept the best-of-nine series 5-0. Three of the races, including today's, were closely fought but showed the Swiss boat's superior pointing ability, brilliant tactics, and flawless crew work.

    The Alinghi crew consistently won the starts and were able to defend the favoured side of the course to build an unbeatable advantage.

    The Swiss yacht, SUI64, was the first yacht built for the 2002-2003 America's Cup. Conservatively designed, she showed superior all-round performance and excellent reliability.

    Team New Zealand, on the other hand, were forced to withdraw from the first and fourth races after suffering gear failure.

    The Alinghi crew included seven former members of Team NZ. Skipper Russell Coutts and tactician Brad Butterworth were key members of the crew of NZL32 which won the Cup for New Zealand in 1995.

    Exactly three years ago today they made history aboard NZL60 when New Zealand become the first country other than the United States to successfully defend the Cup.

    Both campaigns were 5-0 sweeps by New Zealand.

    With today's victory, Russell Coutts has skippered three consecutive America's Cup winners. He has set a new record of 14 Cup race victories.

    Bertarelli, who spent $120 million to win yachting's "Holy Grail" also sets a record. It is the first time a country has won the America's Cup in its first attempt.

    He has not said where or when the next America's Cup will take place.

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