The America's Cup: A High Seas Expression of Pure Capitalism

Jul 17, 2017 | 08:00 GMT

Peter Burling, the helmsman of Emirates Team New Zealand, flanked by team CEO Grant Dalton (r) and a representative from sponsor Emirates airlines, holds aloft the America's Cup during a victory parade in Wellington, New Zealand.

(HAGEN HOPKINS/Getty Images)

A crew of improbable New Zealand heroes was honored on a wintry July 11 with a parade that drew throngs of jubilant Kiwis to the streets of Wellington. Members of Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) had just returned from Bermuda, where they had become the underdog winners of the America’s Cup sailing race. Their dominant victory over titleholders Oracle Team USA was sweet redemption: ETNZ had blown a commanding lead over Oracle in the 2013 competition. In this year's rematch, however, the relatively underfunded Kiwis parlayed a blend of skill and technological ingenuity to take down their rivals, lavishly backed by tech billionaire Larry Ellison. The occasion of ETNZ’s victory provides a chance to delve into the world of elite sailing, an international sport where technology and innovation rule the seas and national identity is as slippery as a deck in a storm....

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