The 36th America’s Cup is pipped to be one of the most highly competitive events in Cup history. The Defenders, Emirates Team New Zealand have an important legacy to uphold as respected and serious contenders with strong aims to raise the Cup once more.
But how did they get here?
Up until the 1960’s only two countries, Canada and Great Britain could lay claim to having challenged for the America’s Cup.
The unbeatable Americans, and a winning streak which had passed ten decades entered the realm of legend drawing out the fighting spirit in sailing nations around the world. In 1987, following a gutsy debut performance by New Zealand, a nation was hooked and the quest for the Cup had begun.
Based in Auckland, Team Emirates New Zealand represents the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and are four-time winners of the Louis Vuitton Cup and three-time winners of the America’s Cup. Emirates Team New Zealand is defending the Cup in 2021 against the winner of the Prada Cup, the challenger selection series which takes place in January–February in 2021 ahead of the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada.
Watch their story below.
The 2021 campaign
The Defenders sailing Te Aihe will be up against the Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, ( watch boat 2 arrive in Auckland) and two other competitors: American Magic with their boat Patriot, and Britannia representing Team Ineos UK.
By now most of the teams have launched their 2nd boat in Auckland. After many months of testing on their first boats, they have tweaked and perfected their designs to meet the challenge. All the boats are unique in their design, pushing the boundaries to the next level to eek out a top performance. And now it’s just time on the water that can produce the results desired.
“There is no second”, according to Sir Ben Ainslie, skipper of Britannia, the entry of Ineous Team UK.
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[Watch: The Emirates Team New Zealand]