Sir Ben Ainslie: 'Next stop Auckland' - rivals pay tribute to victorious Team New Zealand
Team New Zealand's rivals have been quick to praise Peter Burling and co for winning the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda.
The Kiwis closed out the Cup match against Oracle Team USA in dominant fashion on Monday (Tuesday NZ time), winning race nine by 55 seconds to secure a 7-1 series victory.
The only team not to sign Oracle's framework agreement that laid out the future of the event, Team NZ had a reputation as a "lone wolf" and operated outside the other syndicates.
But that did not stop them from congratulating the Kiwis, with Sir Ben Ainslie, skipper of his self-titled British boat, looking forward to coming to Auckland to challenge for the Auld Mug.
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"Congratulations to Emirates Team New Zealand for such a dominant performance during the 35th America's Cup. The whole team have put together an excellent campaign and are worthy winners," Ainslie said in a statement.
"The team at Land Rover BAR will now await the announcement of Emirates Team New Zealand's plans for the 36th America's Cup in the near future.
"We hope the new protocol and the exciting racing in Bermuda will persuade all existing teams to again do battle for sport's oldest international trophy, along with encouraging new and old faces to return to the America's Cup."
He also tweeted "Next stop AKL!"
Artemis Racing, the Swedish team who lost the challenger final 5-2, also paid tribute to New Zealand for a " well deserved" victory.
The win was getting headlines in the United Kingdom and United States, with Guardian sailing writer Nick Vindis reporting that it was "an emphatic end to a dominant performance for the syndicate from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, who excelled with their superior downwind speed throughout the series."
Christopher Clarey of the New York Times described it as a "day of redemption" for Team New Zealand after blowing an insurmountable 8-1 lead in San Francisco in 2013.
"[Peter] Burling, cool and confident under pressure in Bermuda, turned out to be just the man for the very tricky job, and he is now the youngest helmsman to win the America's Cup. The one-sided result was a humbling one for Oracle's star helmsman, Jimmy Spithill, and Oracle's billionaire owner, Larry Ellison."