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Team NZ lift America's Cup after crushing victory over Luna Rossa

Team New Zealand have lifted the America's Cup this afternoon after defeating Luna Rossa 7-3 in Auckland. 

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The Kiwi sailors dominated race ten from start to finish. Source: 1 Sport

The Kiwis only required one more victory to secure the trophy when they entered Wednesday's racing, and one race was all that was needed, Team NZ blitzing Luna Rossa from the first leg to earn a crushing 46-second victory.

Auckland's Viaduct was packed with thousands of fans, all of whom cheered as Team New Zealand crossed the finish line to cap off a brilliant defense of the historic Cup.

While the sun began to set, the night had just begun for the beaming Team New Zealand crew, as they lifted the Auld Mug in front of the elated crowd at the America's Cup Village on Te Wero Island.

Their victory today meant the team became the first to successfully challenge and successfully defend the Cup twice, no mere feat given the Cup's 170-year history.

Relive 1 NEWS' live coverage of the final day of the 36th America's Cup below. You can relive all the day's action through OnDemand.

7.06pm: Here it is, the moment we've all been waiting for. Peter Burling lifts the America's Cup. The America's Cup remains New Zealand's Cup!

7.03pm: Team NZ's turn now, the sailors called up one by one to receive their medals. The crowd is going nuts!

6.57pm: Luna Rossa introduced to the stage first, receiving warm applause from the crowd. Team skipper Max Sirena says it "has been a pleasure" to compete against Team New Zealand.

"New Zealand is like a second home for me and for the guys.

"It is amazing the millions of people in Italy following us in the last few weeks. 

"I'm proud to be involved in this group and everything they give me.

"We are so lucky to be here. It was so nice to see so many boats watching. It will be in my heart forever."

6.50pm: Team NZ are approaching the stage now where the presentation will be made.

6.45pm: Team New Zealand are now walking through the thousands of cheering fans to recieve the Auld Mug. They are heading across the Viaduct Harbour Bridge to Te Wero Island, where the America's Cup Village, and of course the Cup itself lie.

6.35pm: Peter Burling tells 1 NEWS he will be having "just a couple" of drinks tonight to celebrate.

"What an incredible feeling, I think it's just sinking in. It means the world to us to bring it home," Burling told 1 NEWS sports reporter Andrew Saville.

"Our boat was absolutely incredible this week," he said, acknowledging the work of the hundreds of people behind the scenes that helped create the sheer force that was Te Rehutai.

"If you don't have a fast enough boat you're not in the yacht race."

Residents of Golden View Lifestyle Village in Cromwell celebrate Team New Zealand winning the America's Cup Source: Supplied

6.30pm: Team New Zealand trimmer Glenn Ashby told 1 NEWS the feelings of relief and satisfaction were overwhelming right now.

"It's been an absolutely massive few years since Bermuda," Ashby said.

"It's unbelievable. It's surreal, words can't describe it."

6.25pm: This is Team New Zealand's fourth America's Cup victory, and second back-to-back campaign.

The late Sir Peter Blake led the team to its first victory in 1995, before Russell Coutts retained the Cup in front of a packed Auckland Viaduct crowd in 2000. But a 17-year dry spell followed, including the devastating 9-8 loss to Jimmy Spithill and Oracle in 2013 after being ahead 8-1.

Team New Zealand got its revenge in 2017, winning back the coveted Cup in Bermuda. Peter Burling and his crew have now backed up that performance here in Auckland four years on in a momentous sporting moment in our nation's history.

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The Kiwis beat Luna Rossa 7 - 3 to retain the America's cup. Source: 1 Sport

6.20pm: The Kiwis have docked now and are greeted by their on-shore team members. There are plenty of hugs, plenty of smiles as they celebrate victory on New Zealand shores for the first time since the turn of the century.

6.15pm: Te Rehutai is approaching the docks now. Cheers rain down from above from fans, the team acknowledging them with smiles and waves. 

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It was a true heroes welcome for the victorious Kiwi sailors. Source: 1 NEWS

6.07pm: A breathless Team NZ flight controller Blair Tuke tells his brother and TVNZ reporter Jesse the atmosphere is incredible.

"This is about as good as it gets I think," Tuke said.

"The reception we're receiving right now and the way Kiwis are feeling all around the country, it's great. We're on top of the world."

6pm: Team NZ boss Grant Dalton tells 1 NEWS he "couldn't be more proud" of his team after they retained the America's Cup.

Te Rehutai is pulling into Auckland's Viaduct now to the raucous applause of thousands of fans. What a special moment of history we are witnessing.

5.45pm: Burling has told 1 NEWS he was "blown away" by the support for his team.

"We wouldn't be here without all the Kiwis," Burling said.

5.35pm: Festivities to celebrate Team New Zealand's America's Cup victory will be held tonight, according to Destination Auckland general manager Steve Armitage.

"Along with the presentation of the Cup, key landmarks around the city will be lit up and a fireworks display on the Waitemata will signal the successful end to an amazing event," Armitage said.

"There are no plans for a parade in Auckland which is why we have put additional support into the final night’s proceedings to bring the city to life.”

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The Kiws beat Luna Rossa 7 - 3 to claim the Auld Mug. Source: 1 NEWS

5.30pm: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also given her congratulations to Team New Zealand.

“Team New Zealand has once again made us all so proud by retaining the America’s Cup as New Zealand’s cup,” Ardern said.

“On behalf of all of Aotearoa I congratulate Grant Dalton, Peter Burling and the whole team, those on the water and off it, for their achievements.

“Peter Burling and his crew of skilled sailors showed what they were capable of in all conditions, highlighting the tactical brilliance and sheer hard work of everyone involved.

“Following a hard year, Team New Zealand provided such optimism and excitement. I know with all the international limitations that Covid-19 created this wasn’t the competition they expected, but they’ve made us so proud,” Ardern said.

5.25pm: Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has congratulated Team New Zealand on their victory and successful defence of the America’s Cup.

“A victory for Team New Zealand in front of a home crowd on Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour is the perfect way to cap off three months of world-class racing in our city,” Goff said.

“Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup campaign has been thrilling to watch, with the Kiwis overcoming a strong challenge from Luna Rossa to once again bring home the Cup."

Luna Rossa helmsman Jimmy Spithill has given a classy message of congratulations to Burling and Team New Zealand just moments after the finish:

READ MORE
'Pete, if you can hear me, congrats mate' - Beaten Jimmy Spithill shows his class, moments after losing Auld Mug to Team NZ

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It's time for the Kiwi sailors to celebrate their big win. Source: 1 Sport

5.20pm: The crowd is going wild at the America’s Cup Village. This is the victory New Zealand has been waiting for. Crowds are flocking to congratulate Team New Zealand as it returns to base.

Team NZ helmsman Peter Burling describes the victory as "absolutely unreal". Read more here:

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'Most amazing experience' - Peter Burling thanks NZ for support after defending Auld Mug on home waters

5.15pm: The Italians look devastated. The true face of sport. Where there is a winner, there is a loser, and unfortunately that is the fate of Luna Rossa in the 36th America's Cup. But they haven't gone down without a fight, and have shown their class throughout the regatta.

5.12pm: Team New Zealand have won the America's Cup! A stunning performance from the Kiwis this afternoon, winning race ten by 46 seconds. What a moment, as celebrations begin on Te Rehutai! Team New Zealand retain the America's Cup after a 7-3 victory over Luna Rossa in the 36th regatta.

5.05pm: Luna Rossa have made small inroads on this final upwind leg, but it just looks like too little, too late. Team NZ turn around the final mark and just have nothing but open water between them and America's Cup glory! The lead is 49 seconds, surely insurmountable.

5.02pm: It is Team NZ's race to lose here. The lead continues to extend as the teams approach the fourth mark, the Kiwis absolutely flying down this leg. You have to feel for Luna Rossa who just appear unable to keep up with the speed of Te Rehutai. The lead at gate four is a massive 37 seconds!

5pm: Team NZ have extended their lead around the third mark, 500m now separate the two teams.

4.57pm: Peter Burling's team are looking good here as we approach the halfway point of the race, still a long way to go though. The lead has stretched to around 300m.

4.53pm: Team NZ maintain a lead, but the Italians are hot on their tails, but they've made a mistake on the layline as they went to turn around the second gate! Could that cost them the America's Cup? The lead is now eight seconds.

4.50pm: The Kiwis take the lead through the first mark, Luna Rossa trailing by seven seconds.

4.49pm: The boats are just inches from each other at the second cross! This is breathtaking stuff! It's amazing how the intensity of this match has increased over the last few days.

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If the Kiwis can hold onto the lead they’ll win the America’s Cup. Source: 1 Sport

4.47pm: But as we approach the first cross Team NZ have snuck in front! They've blocked off Luna Rossa, who are forced to tack out of there. First blood Team NZ!

4.45pm: We are underway! Team NZ take a high line as the clock ticks down to the final twenty seconds. But it's the Italians who win the start, but only just! Team NZ tack right immediately as this race starts with a split.

4.30pm: Now looks like 4.45pm is the new start time.

4.25pm: The new start time for the first race is now 4.40pm.

4.20pm: 1 NEWS understands organisers have had to limit access across the bridge to Te Wero island - where the America’s Cup Village main stage is - because it’s so full.

4.15pm: Unfortunately similar circumstances as yesterday, with the first race postponed for an undetermined amount of time as officials wait for the wind to increase.

4.05pm: It is a packed house on Auckland's Viaduct, with no room remaining in the official viewing area.

Fans are doubling down on celebrations today as St Patrick’s Day revellers enjoy the village atmosphere. Source: 1 NEWS

4pm: Word out on the water is the breeze is blowing at around nine knots and it is hoped to increase to 12 knots, although Dean Barker jokes that assumption is "a bit ambitious".

3.50pm: Luna Rossa grinder Pierluigi de Felice told 1 NEWS earlier today his team would be fighting as hard as they can and would need to race perfectly from here on out in order to win the America's Cup.

3.48pm: We understand the wind is beginning to pick up ever so slightly, a good sign that racing will get underway.

3.45pm: As the clock continues to tick down to the first race, let's take a look at Jimmy Spithill's history with the Auld Mug and Team NZ:

READ MORE
Sailing's Comeback King: Jimmy Spithill's history with the Auld Mug and Team NZ

3.30pm: Dean Barker says he would be against the idea of the America's Cup leaving New Zealand shores if they retain it, with rumours swirling that it could be moved to the UK for the next edition.

We are also getting word on the wind conditions. At the moment it is "absolute glass" according to TVNZ's on-the-water reporter Jesse Tuke, although he understands the breeze is around 10 knots.

It is expected to pick up closer to race time, but there may be a slight delay to the first race.

Steve the goat has made another appearance at the cup village. His owner Grant Solley from Whenuapai says he’s pretty sure he will bring good luck to Team New Zealand. Source: 1 NEWS

3.25pm: Peter Burling's parents tell 1 NEWS they are "feeling good" about Team New Zealand's chances of winning the cup this afternoon.

3.20pm: Less than an hour to go until the first, and perhaps last, race of the day. A huge day for Luna Rossa, who must find a way to overturn the 6-3 deficit. Only flawless sailing from here on out will suffice.

3.10pm: Crowds are flooding into the America’s Cup Village ahead of today’s racing. A team of about 40 police are spread out across the village “for safety reasons” and told 1 NEWS it’s a “pretty calm crowd so far”.

Team NZ and Luna Rossa in race 10 of the America's Cup Source: Getty

2.50pm: The equation is simple for Team New Zealand. Win one more race, and they will hold the America's Cup for a fourth time. Luna Rossa's massive task is to win both to force more racing tomorrow. 

Racing will be a combined course A/B, with views of the action from land at Takapuna and Milford in particular.

Recap yesterday's dramatic race here. 

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Each of the boats has two foil arms with custom designed foil wings at the end. Source: 1 NEWS

The wind could be in the range of 10-15 knots for the start of racing at 4.15pm, but could drop later on.