America's Cup win brings relief, elation for New Zealanders

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Emirates Team New Zealand has won the 35th America's Cup, defeating ORACLE TEAM USA on June 26 on the Great Sound in Burmuda.

It was Spithill and the team bankrolled by Oracle founder Larry Ellison who in 2013 turned an 8-1 deficit against New Zealand into a 9-8 victory and a successful defence of the oldest trophy in global sport.

"We're just on top of the world", New Zealand's Peter Burling, at 26 the youngest helmsman to lift the America's Cup, told BT Sport just moments after the triumph had been secured.

He won Olympic gold in Rio a year ago in the 49er skiff class with fellow crew member Blair Tuke and has brought a youthful confidence to New Zealand's campaign to regain the "Auld Mug", which was first won by the schooner "America" in 1851.

"Hat's off to those guys today, they sailed clean and smart", Spithill said after the race, adding that the United States team bankrolled by Oracle founder Larry Ellison would fight to the end and had staged a comeback from a similar position before. However, it was not to be.

New Zealand 's repossession of the America's Cup, yachting's oldest prize, is expected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the jubilant South Pacific nation.

"That was quite a big day for us, as well, because the guys looked after the boat and let it loose when they could and sailed it really intelligently", said Team NZ boss Grant Dalton.

John Floyd said the previous collapse was gnawing at his mind but this time the New Zealand team had out-prepared Oracle.

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All four have shown a clear pathway from the Olympics to the America's Cup and their talent has been harnessed by the likes of Murray Jones and Ray Davies who guided a young team through the challenges of a Cup campaign.

The New Zealand crew had been on a mission to wipe out the hurt inflicted when an 8-1 lead was overhauled by the US team.

A Kiwi crew member from greeting fans before the America's Cup sailing event on Monday.

"There's that feeling of relief and huge satisfaction that as a fantastic team we've actually been able to pull off nearly the unimaginable against all odds".

"That is going to be dependent on various plans either from the team or from Auckland Council and the role it's going to play, so I think the government should be involved in that".

But, while leading 6-1 in the first-to-seven points final should make victory a near certainty, the New Zealand team are not complacent.

"We're disappointed obviously but first of all full credit to Team New Zealand, what a series", he said. "They made fewer mistakes and they fully deserve it so our hats are off to them".

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