27 Jun 2017

Confetti and champagne as NZ fans celebrate win

1:27 pm on 27 June 2017

Fans threw confetti and broke out the champagne as they watched Team New Zealand sail to America's Cup victory this morning.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland and erupted into cheers as 26-year-old helmsman Peter Burling led the New Zealanders to victory in the day's first race - going 7-1 against Oracle Team USA and bringing home the Auld Mug.

Look back at RNZ's live coverage of the winning race and reaction here.

The cheers, the hoots and the shouts were just unbelievable, RNZ reporter Sharon Brettkelly told Morning Report.

Fans at the the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland

Fans at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland cheered, popped champagne over the crowd and waved flags. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Fans at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

In Bermuda, the helmsman's mother, Heather Burling, said she could not be more proud of her son and the team.

"This has been a massive, massive team effort," she told Sky Sport.

"The capsize feels like a month ago but it's only been two weeks. Things feel pretty bad for a while, now they've been out and won the America's Cup for New Zealand.

"The whole country's behind us, it's amazing."

Wgtn club proud of Team NZ crew member

It was standing room only at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club in Wellington this morning.

And it was a proud moment for the club as one of the team's members, 26-year-old Josh Junior, raced in its youth programme.

Junior came through the Worser Bay Boating Club, a sister club of Port Nicholson.

His father Dean Stanley had been in Bermuda, but was back in Wellington. He told Morning Report he watched the match from his lounge, where the champagne was flowing.

"They gave them a good old fashioned spanking actually, it was great to watch and a real buzz here."

Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club Commodore Pedro Morgan said Team New Zealand's win was an enormous achievement after what happened in San Fransisco four years ago.

"They talked about San Fran being the greatest comeback in sport, I beg to differ, to come back from that to beat Oracle this way, that's the bigger comeback."

Mr Morgan said Port Nicholson was very proud of Junior and was hoping to put on a celebration for him when he returned.

Win ushers in new era for cup - former NZ skipper

Chris Dickson, Tokio, Whitbread round the world yacht race, 1994.

Chris Dickson during the Whitbread Round the World yacht race in 1994. Photo: Photosport

Chris Dickson skippered New Zealand's first attempt to win the cup in Fremantle in 1986/87.

He told Morning Report he thought Team New Zealand had it in the bag yesterday.

"What an incredibly talented well put together, well managed, strategically perfect team."

He said it was a new era for the America's Cup, which would inspire a new generation of cup watchers.

Prime Minister Bill English, was among those up early to watch the race.

He congratulated Team New Zealand on its leadership, teamwork, and technological brilliance.

"They have done an amazing job to beat formidable opposition," Mr English said.

Team New Zealand's use of pedal power to drive the hydraulics on the boat "showcased Kiwi ingenuity to the world", he said.

Victory parade planned

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) chief executive Brett O'Riley said the organisation would work with the team and others to hold a parade in the central city when the winning crew returned to Auckland.

The details for the victory parade are expected to be confirmed in the next few days.

Tauranga city councillor Leanne Brown said the city was hoping to organise some sort of local celebration for Burling, but needed to work with Team New Zealand's schedule.

"I know [Burling] is going to be very very excited to be able to bring and share that moment with all his local loyal supporters."

Nelson yachties watch the race at the Tasman Bay Cruising Club.

Nelson yachties watch the race at the Tasman Bay Cruising Club. Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

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