As they started race 10 on Wednesday 17 March, Emirates Team New Zealand needed one more race win for victory over Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli to claim the 36th edition of the America’s Cup.
26 minutes and 6 seconds later the Kiwi team sailed to a 46 second race win and scored the 7th point they needed to raise the Auld Mug in front of thousands of spectators in Auckland.
Racing got underway in 10+ knots on the notorious ‘no passing lanes’ Course A with everything depending on winning the start.
Team New Zealand wanted the righthand side and Pete Burling started to windward of Luna Rossa . . . tacked off onto port straight away, locked into the right-handed breeze and gained the early advantage.
At the first cross the Kiwis tacked in front of Luna Rossa forcing the Italians to tack back onto starboard and allowing themselves to control the favoured righthand side of the course.
At gate 1 the Kiwis rounded 7 seconds ahead and sailing faster were able to keep the Italians behind, but with only a 9 sec lead at gate 2.
On the second beat the Kiwis started to stretch out their lead, increasing the distance to around 300 metres on the water, and a 27 sec lead at gate 3.
Downwind ETNZ now stretched their lead to 630+ metres and a 37 sec lead at gate 4.
It was now relentless, with a calm looking Burling throwing ETNZ round the final gate with a near 500 metre lead and 49 sec ahead of Luna Rossa.
Down the final leg it was a victory parade for the Kiwi team as they crossed the finish with a 600+ metre lead and a 46 sec final lead.
Finally they had showed their true colours . . . They had been faster upwind and down and set a maximum speed 4 knots quicker than Luna Rossa.
After 10 races and a score line of 7 to 3 the America’s Cup was New Zealand’s once again – their fourth America’s Cup victory representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron..