You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Team NZ want to bury 2013 ghosts: Ashby

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/06/2017

Team New Zealand are a stronger all-round outfit than that which suffered cruel America's Cup heartbreak in San Francisco four years ago, says skipper Glenn Ashby.

The Kiwi syndicate gets a second crack at snatching the Auld Mug off Team USA after winning the challenger series.

Australian Ashby is the only member of the current crew involved in the 2013 Cup Match, when Team NZ somehow squandered an 8-1 lead.

They lost 9-8 to Jimmy Spithill's Team USA, in a result which captured global headlines but nearly spelt the end of Team NZ.

"Really, only a couple of years ago, the team was looking down the barrel of having its doors closed. That would have been a real tragedy," Ashby said.

"A few people got together, managed to keep the doors open and that whole team has effectively been rebuilt from the ground up.

"We were a strong team in the last campaign, but certainly this team, I believe, is a much stronger unit than we've seen before."

Ashby says he is continually asked about the San Francisco meltdown and everyone in the team would like nothing more than to consign it to history.

"I think the motivation, going forwards, is definitely there.

"We didn't need much on our side last time to be successful and I think we're in that same position now, where we don't need a lot to go our way to definitely be in the hunt."

Ashby says Team NZ has built a legacy of quality sailors and designers which is reflected in their ongoing competitiveness at America's Cups.

They have been involved in all but two Cup Matches over the last 30 years.

"I think it's the passion to be aggressive in design and innovation," he said.

"It's something that has really stood Emirates Team NZ apart from a lot of the other teams over the years.

"This campaign has been absolutely no exception to pushing the boundaries of what's possible and what can be achieved."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon