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Emirates Team New Zealand sails into history books winning 36th America’s Cup

Published: 18 March 2021

Crowds turned out in force to watch Emirates Team New Zealand sail into the history books on Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour, claiming victory over Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team to win the 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA.

Tens of thousands of fans descended on the America’s Cup Race Village on Auckland’s waterfront to see Emirates Team New Zealand claim victory in race 10, winning the match by a final margin of 7-3 against a spirited Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team.

They were joined by thousands of spectators watching the action from vantage points overlooking the harbour, big screens around the region, and on the water with a flotilla of more than 1600 craft of all sizes flanking the course.

Steve Armitage, Auckland Unlimited General Manager Destination, says: “We’re thrilled Emirates Team New Zealand has been successful in defending the 36th America’s Cup in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

“The culmination of the 36th America’s Cup has demonstrated how Auckland and New Zealand has successfully managed to host a major global sporting event involving large crowds of spectators during the global pandemic.

“Today’s race stopped the nation, and images broadcast around the world showcased our stunning urban oasis and the renowned innovation of our maritime industry.”

Emirates Team New Zealand made its way back from the course followed by a large spectator fleet, greeting fans during an on-water procession around the America’s Cup Race Village - starting at North Wharf, going past Halsey Wharf and finishing at the team’s base.

Along with formal presentations of medals and the Cup itself to the winning team at the America’s Cup Race Village, the Auckland Museum, Auckland Harbour Bridge and the SkyTower were lit up as a thank you to Aucklanders from the host city. 

Steve Armitage says: “We are very proud of what has been achieved in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, in what have been extremely challenging times.

“It has taken an almost four-year effort from across the Auckland Council group, Crown agencies, mana whenua and our event partners to achieve what has ultimately been a safe and successful event.

“Our region has put on a show over the past three months, starting with the America’s Cup World Series and Christmas Race in December, the Prada Cup in January and February, and culminating in what has been a completely thrilling 36th America’s Cup in the past week.”

Aucklanders and visitors to the region have turned out in force to support the Match and a diverse range of exciting events, including the Summernova festival series.

Armitage says the event has helped attract domestic visitors to Auckland, and kept Aucklanders in town to support their local businesses.

"Auckland’s waterfront has been alive throughout the regatta, and no time more so than during the last week. This event has brought a lot of joy to Aucklanders and visitors and has been a welcome boost to local businesses when they’ve needed it most.”

More than 450,000 visitors have travelled to the America’s Cup Race Village during race days since December 2020, including more than 195,000 people, total across the five days of the 36th America’s Cup Match where crowds were permitted.

Tens of thousands of fans have watched racing from Auckland’s natural coastal amphitheatre, and at events at venues including Takaparawhau Bastion Point, Windsor Reserve and Takapuna Beach Reserve. 

The Waitematā Harbour has also seen big crowds, with almost 8,000 vessels total hitting the water, over the course of the Match.

Steve Armitage says: “Congratulations to Emirates Team New Zealand on its triumph, and thank you to Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and to all who have been involved in delivering a safe and successful event.

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland has pulled out all the stops and shown the world what we have to offer.”

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