Emirates Team New Zealand (Photo © George Bekris)

 

In a thrilling winner-take-all final race, Emirates Team New Zealand unhooked itself from a starting buoy to win the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series New York with the high score of 52 points.

Another large crowd, estimated at 100,000, turned out on a sunny day and was treated to some very unpredictable racing. This after over 75,000 came out on Saturday.

Watch a recap here

 

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

No lead was ever safe on Sunday as the wind shifted through wide arcs from the west to the north and ranged anywhere from 5 to 20 knots.

“It was one of those series where everyone had good luck and bad luck, but we got our good luck at the end of the regatta,” said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby. “It was exciting and crazy at the same time. Today it was important to keep your cool and stay focused.”

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

The Kiwi crew, led by Ashby and World Sailor of the year and Red Bull Youth America’s Cup champion helmsman Peter Burling, was literally dead in the water at the start of Race 3. Crewman Blair Tuke had to jump in the water to unhook the starting buoy’s anchor line from the catamaran’s rudder. Making matters worse, the port hull was punctured by the buoy and water was leaking into the hull throughout the race.

“We saw the buoy coming at us with about 20 seconds to go,” said Ashby. “It wasn’t ideal but we were lucky in the end.”

 

The Kiwi crew’s luck came full circle on the next-to-last leg. They rounded the last windward mark in fifth place, about 42 seconds behind leading SoftBank Team Japan. But as all the crews began the downwind leg they sailed into a patch of no wind that engulfed the course.

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

As the leg was perpendicular to the southerly flowing current, some of the crews were being swept over the course boundary. Land Rover BAR, Groupama Team France and SoftBank Team Japan all were penalized for crossing the boundary in the current.

The Kiwis, further behind, held in the middle of the course and when the wind filled in the Kiwis took off on their hydrofoils at 16 to 20 knots boatspeed, leaving the rest of the fleet gasping in disbelief.

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

At one point during the final race ORACLE TEAM USA looked to be in position to win. Skipper Jimmy Spithill and crew won the start and led around the first two mark roundings. But Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan grabbed the lead by working the right side of the course while ORACLE TEAM USA struggled on the right side. In the end the reigning America’s Cup champion placed second in the race and second for the series.

“The crowd was insane,” said Spithill. “Today was great for the fans. In these conditions you have to roll with the punches and keep fighting. We wanted to win but we’ll take the second place. The Kiwis got a Hail Mary there at the end, but you have to take your hat off to them and congratulate them.”

Third went to Franck Cammas’ Groupama Team France, winner of Race 2. SoftBank Team Japan placed fourth, Land Rover BAR fifth and Artemis Racing sixth.

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

Illustrating just how challenging the day was on the short, confined racecourse, Nathan Outteridge’s crew won the first race going away but was then sixth in Races 2 and 3.

“We got a little bit of luck in the first race and managed to hold on, but we had some terrible moments in the last two races…” said Outteridge. “You can’t get people to come watch sailing if you don’t bring it to them. That’s what we’ve done here. When the America’s Cup is in Bermuda next year, in super high-tech boats, we’ll get some amazing racing.”

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series now moves onto Chicago, June 10-12. After that it heads to Europe for events in the U.K. in July and France in September.

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series New York Final Standings

1. Emirates Team New Zealand – 52 points
2. ORACLE TEAM USA – 50 points
3. Groupama Team France – 44 points
4. SoftBank Team Japan – 42 points
5. Land Rover BAR – 42 points
6. Artemis Racing – 40 points

 

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Overall Standings
(After six events)

1. Emirates Team New Zealand – 244 points
2. ORACLE TEAM USA – 236 points
3. Land Rover BAR – 227 points
4. SoftBank Team Japan – 203 points
5. Artemis Racing – 201 points
6. Groupama Team France – 194 points

 

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

 

DECEMBER 07: Americas Cup Trophy in New York City. (Photo by Rob Tringali / America's Cup)

DECEMBER 07: Americas Cup Trophy in New York City. (Photo by Rob Tringali / America’s Cup)

 

America’s Cup racing will return to New York for the first time since 1920 with Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series racing on May 7-8, 2016.

The New York event is one of six events planned during 2016, each featuring thrilling, high-speed competition, as six America’s Cup teams, with the top sailors in the world, vie for points that count towards the final competition for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017.

Watch the video here

This year, Emirates Team New Zealand’s star helmsman, Peter Burling, the youngest in the fleet, led his team to the top of the standings over current America’s Cup champion Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA, and the highly touted Land Rover BAR team led by Olympic hero Ben Ainslie.

But the competition was close. In fact, the opening three Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events in 2015 featured three different event winners, and four different individual race winners. The 2016 calendar promises more hard-fought racing on the foiling AC45F catamarans that fly above the water.

“Everyone is going to want to start the New Year off well,” said ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill. “But all the other teams have been out training with the same goal in mind, so nothing will come easy this year.

“The New York event is going to be spectacular. Racing on the lower Hudson River, in front of that Manhattan skyline, will be a huge hit. New Yorkers are massive sports fans and I think this will be something very special: thrilling, top-level racing right in the heart of the city. It’s going to be a great event for the America’s Cup and a great event for New York.”

Practice racing in New York is on May 6, with point-scoring races on the weekend of May 7-8.

Four events on the 2016 schedule have been announced to date:

Muscat, Oman – February 26-28, 2016; 
New York, USA – May 6-8, 2016;
Chicago, USA – June 10-12, 2016;
Portsmouth, UK – July 22-24, 2016;

Two additional Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events are anticipated to complete the calendar, likely in Europe in mid-September and in Asia in mid-November.

“With six events around the world in 2016 our fans will have more opportunities to enjoy America’s Cup racing and follow their favorite teams and sailors as we build towards the finals in Bermuda in 2017,” said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner of the America’s Cup.

“We’re excited to be able to add the new venues of Oman, New York and Chicago to the calendar, giving more fans a chance to experience the America’s Cup in person.”

The New York event is an historic milestone of sorts. America’s Cup racing was held in New York harbor and environs for 50 years, representing the first 13 challenges for the oldest trophy in international sport.

From 1870 through 1920 racing took place off New York. Beginning in 1930, the competition was moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where it remained until the United States finally lost the Cup in 1983, ending the longest winning streak in sport.

Since that time, racing for the America’s Cup has taken place in Perth (Australia); San Diego (USA); Auckland (New Zealand); Valencia (Spain); and San Francisco (USA).

In May/June 2017, the next America’s Cup will be raced for in Bermuda.

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series standings (after three events):

Emirates Team New Zealand – 122 points
ORACLE TEAM USA – 112 points
Land Rover BAR – 109 points
Artemis Racing – 105 points
SoftBank Team Japan – 100 points
Groupama Team France – 82 points

About the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series New York

This event will take place from May 6-8, 2016, with official practice racing on the Friday and point-scoring races on Saturday and Sunday.

The Event Village will be in the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza, while the racing will be on the lower Hudson River off the Battery Park City Esplanade (between the Pier 25 basin to the north and The Battery to the south).

The technical areas for teams, race management and America’s Cup TV production will be based at Liberty State Park and Liberty Landing Marina, across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

About the America’s Cup

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport, dating back to 1851, when the yacht America, after which the trophy is named, beat the best of the British fleet in a race around the Isle of Wight, U.K. The trophy won on that day was donated in trust through a Deed of Gift and has since become a symbol of immense achievement. It is perhaps the hardest trophy in sport to win. In it’s 165-year history, only four countries have managed to win the America’s Cup.

The America’s Cup is currently held by the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco, U.S.A.. On September 25, 2013, its team, ORACLE TEAM USA, completed the biggest comeback in sports to retain the trophy it had first won in 2010.

On December 2, 2014, Bermuda was named as the home of the 35th America’s Cup, with the iconic Great Sound as the race course area where the new America’s Cup Class boats (15-meter, foiling, wing-sailed catamarans) from each competing nation will race for the America’s Cup in May/June 2017.

The America’s Cup is honored to partner with Louis Vuitton as the title partner of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs. Louis Vuitton is also the presenting partner of the 35th America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

The America’s Cup is also proud to be supported by BMW, Bremont, ORACLE, Sail Racing, the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Gosling’s and XL Catlin; as well as: Appleby, BF&M, Butterfield, Butterfield & Vallis, Moët & Chandon, PwC and the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club.

America’s Cup updates are also available on your mobile device. Go to the App Store to download the official America’s Cup App.

For more America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series racing visit The America’s Cup Website