America's Cup: Alinghi wins

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 File:America's Cup.jpg

The America's Cup Trophy.
Image: Bob Covarrubias.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Alinghi has defeated Team New Zealand by one second in the seventh race to win the 32nd America's Cup in a close run race. The final score was five wins for Alinghi and two for Team New Zealand in the best of nine challenge.

Skipper Brad Butterworth, coincidently a New Zealander, led the Switzerland-based boat to a second straight "Auld Mug" trophy.

The race started with Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, having a slight advantage. This was soon lost to Alinghi however, ending the first mark with a seven second lead. Nearing the end of the second mark, Team New Zealand managed to overtake Alinghi to gain a 14 second lead.

However, when SUI-100 were catching up to NZL-92, Team New Zealand were penalised for port-starboard incident. Team New Zealand then lost the lead.

Our sponsors, suppliers and the New Zealand fans have been absolutely marvellous. They’ve been so supportive both here and in New Zealand.

—Grant Dalton

Coming up to the final leg of the race, Team New Zealand managed to take a 70 metre lead after the wind faded, and both yachts had dropped their spinnakers and Alinghi dropped into a hole. Team New Zealand still had to complete their 360 degree penalty turn, and did so. After completing the turn, Alinghi sailed up beside them and took the win by one second.

Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey congratulated the team, sending a telegram that read: "We Swiss find our way at sea, not just in the mountains."

Micheline Calmy-Rey, president of Switzerland, sent a telegram to the team congratulating them of their win. "We Swiss find our way at sea, not just in the mountains," referring to Switzerland being most popular for Alpine skiing.

Managing director of Team New Zealand, Grant Dalton, said, "All credit to Alinghi. They kept it close when we got past them on the first run they just kept on sailing the way they do and beat us fair and square in the end."

"It don’t think the margin today really matters. They still won it."

The New Zealand Government has announced that it is setting aside NZ$10 million to help retain key yachties. This is just under double what the government gave them after the loss in 2003.

Sports and recreation minister for New Zealand, Trevor Mallard, said, "It is the view of the government that the team should continue, that it should be based in New Zealand and that Auckland should host an America's Cup regatta again."