New Zealand, defending the America’s Cup, is one point away from winning the 36th game of the oldest international sporting trophy. In a duel against Italy, the host country advanced by 6:3 and scored four points for the match. The meeting had to be postponed to Wednesday (4.15am/Servus TV) after the ninth race on Tuesday morning due to erratic winds. Seven victories are necessary for victory at the top of sailing in Auckland, New Zealand.
In nine races, the most exciting to date, the Luna Rossa crew led long stints in six leadership changes. But New Zealand managed one last counterattack: Te Rehutay with captain Peter Berling reached the finish line after a favorable turn of the winds faster in the boat 30 seconds ahead of Luna Rossa with Francesco Bruni and Jimmy Spiethl. Bruni said: “It was painful, but we can still win races. If I learned anything from Jimmy, he is fighting to the end.”
In 2013, Jimmy Spithill was the captain of Oracle Team USA, who made history in San Francisco with the biggest comeback of the America’s Cup. The Americans were 8-1 behind in the duel with New Zealand and won 9-8. Spithill’s current cup duel rival wasn’t part of the game at the time: Olympic champion No. 49 Peter Berling avenged New Zealand in 2017 as the youngest winning captain at age 26.
This Wednesday, the 30-year-old from Tauranga could write another chapter in cup history with a successful cup defense in his home district, before battling once again for the Olympic gold with teammate Blair Toke. In the sailing area of the Tokyo Olympics, Berliner Eric Hill/Thomas Blosel, who won bronze in the 49er race in 2016, is once again among the Burling/Tuke contenders for medals.