June 7, 2007 The entire Emirates Team New Zealand squad climbed up on the prize giving stage to receive the Louis Vuitton Cup on Wednesday evening, after winning the fifth race of the Final, to sweep their way into the final of the America’s Cup. The 5-0 sweep was a first time in Louis Vuitton Cup history and the next task for Emirates Team New Zealand is facing Alinghi in the 32nd America’s Cup Match. Throughout the four years of preliminaries (Louis Vuitton Acts), the Kiwis and the Alinghi team have sailed 10 matches, with the Kiwis up 6-4. Last year, the Kiwis won 4 of 5 races. The intriguing battle for this global trophy which showcases the best sailors and the finest nautical technology begins in a little over a fortnight - 23 June. You can follow the racing on the internet in several ways such as the official race tracker, Live Sailing’s real-time 3D animation with real-time boat speeds, time and distances, live weather data, and audio commentaries and free on demand Internet video coverage of the 32nd America's Cup on your PC or Mac.
“I think they had a little edge on speed and they had a perfect week where everything went their way,” said Luna Rossa tactician Torben Grael. “When the competition is at this level, and everything is going their way, they are making very few mistakes, it’s hard to beat them…They did sail a very good series, and all we can do is congratulate them for their victory.”
"I think they are just sailing very well,” said Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth in a statement released by his team. “They have had the benefit of the Louis Vuitton Cup to get their game bigger and better so they are a force to be reckoned with. Obviously they are on top of their game…"
The Louis Vuitton Cup trophy was presented to the team by Yves Carcelle, the President and CEO of Louis Vuitton Malletier. “Today, we have a fantastic winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup,” Mr. Carcelle said, handing the trophy to skipper Dean Barker and team leader Grant Dalton.
The 32nd America’s Cup Match begins on 23 June. It is a ‘first to five’ series – the first team to win five races will win the America’s Cup.