Wednesday 17 March 2021
New Zealand Holt America’s Cup
Crazy country sailing in trance
One sports title and the whole country is going crazy. What works in football in Germany can be done by sailors in New Zealand. Team New Zealand wins the America’s Cup for the fourth time. Rejoicing among the “kiwis” has no limits. Even the loser wants to celebrate.
The chants of thousands of New Zealanders mingled with the noise of hundreds of mists, Maori warriors paid their respects admirably, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern paid tribute to old and new national heroes. New Zealand’s victory in the America’s Cup has sent this crazy country of sailing on the other side of the world into a frenzy of joy.
By winning the most important windsurfing competition, which has been synonymous with successfully defending the title, Team NZ “has made us all very proud again,” Ardern said. And on the official account of the America’s Cup appeared the award: “One country, one team, five million happy fans.”
In New Zealand, which is largely in control of the coronavirus, the mood in bars and fan areas has been buoyant. Just 11 days ago, the lockdown was ended in Auckland, and now the scene in the harbor has been watched in tandem on the big screens. Fans waved many national flags in celebration of the victory.
Peter Borling also celebrated in abundance. He was drenched in champagne, and a scrap of paper stuck to his wet hair as the helmsman poured a more delicate drop into the “silver jug” and sipped victory with heavy doses. For the fourth time, “Kiwi” won the oldest international sports championship in the world. “It’s absolutely unreal, it means the world to us as a team,” said Berling, who struck a chord with his buddies.
The All Blacks schooner has a cult status in New Zealand – the dominant force in the America’s Cup recent past. New Zealand’s first victories were in 1995, followed by victories in 2000, in the previous edition in 2017 and now in the 36th edition of the competition first held in 1851.
“We should go for a beer.”
After an initially difficult battle and a 2:3 loss against Italy’s Luna Rossa and captain Jimmy Spiethl, the New Zealanders clearly won 7:3 in the end. Australian Spittel missed a similar sensation in 2013, when he led the US team Oracle in the legendary race to catch up before San Francisco with a 9:8 victory over the Kiwis after falling 8-1.
Spithill’s frustration wasn’t deep. Team New Zealand developed a “wonderful package” and is a “deserved” winner: “I think we should go for a beer with the kiwis and respect them.”
Jochen Schumann, who twice held the Old Mag in his hands, as sporting director, praised the winners. “That was a great fight and sometimes the races were very close. In the end, the fastest boat won, as has often been the case in the past,” Schumann told Sports Information. “Kiwis” are in a class of their own: “Not only on the water, but also in advance in the design and development of the boat.”
With all due respect to the winner, the 66-year-old had nothing against a different result. “Frankly, I wish the Italian national team would return the cup to Europe again, and then many other countries would have the opportunity to participate,” Schumann said. The mug is “obviously in good hands with the kiwi as well.”
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