America's Cup 2021: World media reacts to Team New Zealand's 'Auld Mug' victory

  • 18/03/2021

Team New Zealand's fourth America's Cup win has left yachting scribes across the planet shaking their head at both the manner with which they completed their victory, and the stunning feats of design that continue to blaze trails in the sport's pinnacle event.

Stefano Vegliani, OA sport (Italy)

"We must give credit to the New Zealanders for having done an extraordinary job, for having messed around with that strange boat that left everyone speechless when it came out of the shed for the first time. It is incredible that such a small country, where sailing is a national sport second only to rugby, produces incredible innovations such as the AC75 and immediately finds the way to put a futuristic boat in the water by taking a road that no one had thought of .

"The genius of New Zealand, from the 12 meters in fiberglass of 1987 to these flying boats, without forgetting the many innovative boats designed by Bruce Farr, amazed once again."

Frederico Mitello, OA sport (Italy)

"It was a beautiful dream. We have rocked it for three months, since the World Series in December. Bringing the America's Cup to Italy, the dream of a lifetime, especially for Patrizio Bertelli. We had never come this close.

"But once again the dream crashed against the New Zealand wall. When Luna Rossa crosses the oceanic rock, unfortunately it sinks inexorably. Four precedents with the Kiwis, all lost: 2000, 2007, 2013, 2021. On this occasion, at least, the Italians managed to create a few more headaches for the masters of world sailing, avoiding the 'coats' of the previous editions.

"Peter Burling and his companions have refined some details and, race after race, have managed to put an increasingly lightning boat into the water. When you travel a couple of knots faster than your opponent both upwind and downwind, in the long run you can only win.

"And it is the history of the America's Cup that teaches us that it is always the best boat that wins. Unfortunately Italy has not yet managed to design it.

"However, it is unfortunate to think that it is only a question of budget. The investments of Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand turned out to be substantially equivalent, around 60-65 million euros.

"Kiwis can be considered true geniuses of design and engineering: they always manage to propose futuristic solutions towards their opponents, such as the flat and T-shaped foils of this edition."

Toby Heppell, Yachting World

"Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli put up an impressive fight early on in the event and had clearly developed a slick package that was able to match the New Zealand boat in some conditions.

"But in the end the Kiwis did have a slight speed advantage across the range of conditions. And as the event unfolded this slight advantage looked increasingly too much for the Italian team.

"This Cup will be remembered for several reasons, the Kiwi defence one part, the first showing of the AC75 (which look likely to return for the next event), and crucially for the impressive event run by New Zealand in the midst of a global pandemic.

"It’s been hugely impressive for the country to put on such a smooth event under the circumstances. Now we wait to find out who will be the challenger of record for the 37th America’s Cup, what the boats will be, where the event will be held and, eventually, whether anyone can take the Cup away from a New Zealand team who are starting to look dominant in the oldest trophy in sport."

Hamish Hooper, Sail World

"A spectacular achievement for Emirates Team New Zealand and the yacht club they represent, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Another confirmation that - in sailing - the Southern hemisphere country of 5 million people can punch way above its weight."

Magnus Wheatley, Rule69 sailing blog

"On St Patrick’s Day in Auckland, the Kiwis didn’t so much beat the opposition as annihilate them. They left nothing on the table on the day. Stop the clocks. Remember the date. History was made today and with the mark of the very greatest champions in sport, they made it look easy.

"Today promised it, but was never going to be a nail-biter. There was no need to hide behind the sofa. The dog snoozed through the entire thing, barely raising an eyebrow, such was the utter dominance of Team New Zealand and its quite excellent package, that from the off there was just no doubt.

"Burling was on fire. Tuke was coolness personified. Ashby made all the right calls. The crew performed. Every generation has their heroes. These are the America’s Cup champions for 2021 and one of the greatest ever to etch their names on the Auld Mug.

"The glory goes to Team New Zealand. For sure, the knighthood for Grant Dalton must follow. Hero status was cemented and generations of young Kiwis have seen what sporting brilliance and pressure sailing looks like. Congratulations to New Zealand as a nation. Your team not only won the America’s Cup, they won the respect of the world.

"Outstanding. Brilliant. Breathtaking. Thoroughly deserved. Whatever next?"