America's Cup: International media praise Team New Zealand's miraculous victory

Team New Zealand's never say die attitude and fighting spirit has been hailed by the international sailing media after their drama-filled race eight victory on Monday.
The Kiwis are two victories away from retaining the Auld Mug after winning both races on Monday to take a 5-3 lead in the first to seven series.

Drama was the name of the game in race eight with Team New Zealand recovering from what looked like a catastrophic gybe error to win a bizarre race by three minutes 55 seconds.

They looked to be toast when they fell off the foils and were left stranded. All of a sudden, there was a further twist when Luna Rossa fell off their foils approaching gate three and it was race on again.

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Writing on the Rule 69 sailing blog, Magnus Wheatley saluted the way Team New Zealand fought back to win, after it appeared the America's Cup was heading for another day of results being split.

The fickle nature of sport can be cruel and if youre an Italian fan, bleary-eyed from a morning call at the dead of night in Europe, youre nursing a strong sense that today just wasnt your day. The week ahead feels like a long haul already. If youre a Kiwi fan, its elation. Thunder Road turned into Desperation Alley but the scorecard reads 5-3 and Team New Zealand are two wins from defending the Americas Cup.

Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
Team New Zealand's Blair Tuke gives his team the thumbs up after a successful day in the America's Cup Match.

After the sheer disappointment of no racing on Sunday before a record crowd of spectators, Monday on Course E should have come with a Parental Guidance warning. The potential for a horror show, bad language and mild scenes of violence would rightly have elicited an R rating young childrens eyes should have been shielded."

Wheatley remarked Team New Zealand appeared dead and buried when they fell of their foils with Luna Rossa in complete control. They needed a miracle and got it.

All the Kiwis could do was try and save face, sail the course and pray for a miracle. Today, God was a Kiwi and all his disciples descended from Mori stock.

Team New Zealand managed to get back up on their foils for a bizarre win over Luna Rossa in the eighth race of this America's Cup match.

The finishing delta of 3 minutes 55 seconds was a final insult to the Italians who have every sympathy from the sporting public and know that its in no way a reflection of the closeness of this Match. Some days this happens. And with games of chance, sometimes the fickle finger of fate plays against you."

Italian sport situs OA Sport wrote that two defeats on Monday, especially the heart-breaking race eight loss, was a knockout blow.

It is curious to note that the much loved light wind then betrayed Luna Rossa during race-eight : the boat fell from the foil and was no longer able to pick up speed until after more than eight and a half minutes: an enormous amount. The Kiwis have thus overturned a regatta that seemed already lost, giving that jolt to the series that looks so much like a knock down.

When Te Rehutai is in front, the race is almost over. Luna Rossa can do nothing but wait for a mistake: the performance gap is too evident."

Jimmy Spithill remains defiantly optimistic that Luna Rossa can still win the America's Cup.

Yachting World's Toby Heppell likened the day's racing to the animated television series, The Wacky Races.

In an Americas Cup dominated by the start, Monday's racing was a bolt from the blue.

"Until now the racing in this Americas Cup has all come down to the starts with each boat looking fairly evenly matched. [On Monday], however, things changed.

Heppell added it would have been a horrible feeling for Luna Rossa as they ran into trouble and Team New Zealand recovered from their issues to snatch a barely believable victory.

Its hard to imaging what the sailors onboard Luna Rossa must have felt as they sailed back and forth at the windward gate trying desperately to get the boat foiling again as all the while, [Peter] Burling and his team came rushing towards them. I imagine the thoughts would be unprintable.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff
There were high-fives all round for Team New Zealand after their thrilling come-from behind win in race eight of the America's Cup.

The Telegraph's Tom Cary said Team New Zealand had one hand on the trophy after becoming the first team in this year's America's Cup to win both races on the same day.

"It was certainly unprecedented in America's Cup history. These vast foiling monohulls are impressive machines in the right conditions, capable of hitting 50-plus knots in wind speeds less than half that strength.

"But they have a very specific operating window and if they fall outside of those parameters, they can look foolish; multi-million pound yachts bobbing about on the water in displacement mode, unable to get up on their foils again."

The Guardian labelled it as a defining day in the 36th America's Cup.

"Luna Rossa were crestfallen, having blown the chance to level the match after the New Zealanders had appeared dead in the water.

The two race victories put TNZ within touching distance of trophy, the oldest in international sport, and the defenders can wrap up the best-of-13 series on Tuesday.


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