Team New Zealand
(yachting:TNZ) is an America's Cup
sailing team which is based in Auckland
. The team officially represents the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
, and they have become a household name in their home country following their consecutive wins in the America's Cup in 1995 and 2000.
In 1987, the nation was captivated by KZ7 "Plastic Fantastic", racing well in Fremantle, but finally beaten by the American Dennis Conner. The following year, Michael Fay built and raced a gigantic monohull called KZ1 (or the Big Boat) but was outclassed by Conner's catamaran.
In 1995 TNZ stunned the world, beating Team Dennis Conner 5-0 off the coast of San Diego, after winning the Louis Vuitton Cup. The 1995 yacht NZL 32 was nicknamed Black Magic, ably skippered by Russell Coutts, and the legendary Sir Peter Blake. Coining the famous phrase by sailing commentator Peter Montgomery, "The America's Cup is now New Zealand's cup!".
The 2000 challenge was held on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf. On crossing the finish line in the final race, TNZ (NZL 60) beat Italy's Prada Challenge (Luna Rossa) 5-0. Team New Zealand's eight-year reign ended after they were defeated 5-0 by Swiss-based challenger Alinghi in 2003.