The US ‘Oracle’ of James Spithill, defender of the title, and ‘Emirates Team New Zealand’ Peter Burling, as a challenger, will play from this Saturday in Bermuda the final of the 35th America Sailing Cup, in a Duel with special motivation for the New Zealanders after their humiliation of 2013.
It has been almost four years since that September 25, 2013, when in the final of the 34th edition, ‘Oracle’ defeated Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, after trailing an 8-1 win with eight wins Consecutive
More than three years of work, with financial support from New Zealand’s private sponsors and investors and the country’s own government, allowed team leader Grant Dalton to build his ACC50, a 15.25-meter catamaran with sail in Wing and equipped with ‘foils’ (lower spoilers in their helmets that raise him on the surface of the water).
In addition, he added a revolutionary change in his system of pedestals (grinders), which are normally operated with the arms, to give power to the boat, placing a tandem of four static bikes in the helmets to give power with the legs. A system they perfected in top secret in New Zealand.
Dalton sought experience and youth in the new project and hired the young talent of New Zealand sailing, who won the Young America Cup in 2013, 26-year-old world champion and 26-year-old Olympian Peter Burling, who relieved retired Dean Barker.
Along with him, he added the experience of 39-year-old Australian Glenn Asbhy, a silver medalist in the Tornado class in Beijing 2008, as a wing sail trimmer and crew chief. Ashby is the only current crew member to experience the 2013 loss.
But a leader was needed for the future ‘tandem cyclist’ on board and the only cyclist on the team was chosen, the bronze medal on track at the 2012 London Olympics Simon Van Velthooven, 28, who joined in Secret to Grant Dalton’s team.
Van Velthooven leads the team on board with Olympic champion Blair Tuke, Josh Junior and Andy Maloney, who set the pace.
In addition to these four ‘cyclists’, there are also Guy Endean, 28; Joe Sullivan, world and Olympic rowing champion in London 2012, Dutch Carlo Huisman, 25 and Sam Bell.
For New Zealand will be their seventh final of the Copa América. He won in 1995 and 2000 and in his ranks is a Spaniard, considered one of the best nautical jurists and his ruler, Luis Sáenz Mariscal.
He will face what is considered the most powerful high-ranking sailing team of all time: the ‘Oracle Team USA’ of the Australian James Spithill, winner of the Cup in 2010 and 2013.
Owned by American tycoon Larry Ellison, he has a budget of $ 90 million and the best technicians in the world, including Spaniards Joan Vila, chief electronics officer, and Jose Luis Vela, chief computer engineer.
Its crew members are, oddly enough, almost all Australians, with Kyle Langford (wing trim trimmer), 27; Tom Slingsby (tactician), 32, Olympic champion at London 2012 and eight times world champion; Kinley Fowler (grinder / trimmer), Graeme Spence (grinder), 34, Ky Hurs (trimmer), 36, or Sam Newton (grinder), 31.
The Americans in the crew are Louis Sinclair (trimmer), 25, and Cooper Dressler (grinder), 26.
The team that reaches first to the seven victories will be the winner of the 35th Copa America. The ‘Oracle’ has a point advantage by winning the Classification Phase; That is, that Team New Zealand must win eight to win the title.