Team New Zealand is the conglomerate that tries to defend the America's Cup for a second time. Initially the smallest nation ever to take part in the tournament, it won in 1995 as only the second non-US nation (Australia was the first) and successfully defended the "auld mug" in 2000.

In 2003 it has to take on the winner of the Louis Vitton Cup, the swiss 100 million Dollar effort Alinghi.

The amount of money spend on a couple of boats to zoom around outside Auckland harbour is amazing: while Team New Zealand "only" spends 40 million $ dollar on design and production of their sleek black boats, the competitors are rumoured to throw more than 100 million at a couple of plastic thingies with big sails.

Prior to forming the current Team New Zealand after the departure of the late Sir Peter Blake, an unimaginable tragedy happened for patriotic kiwis: two members of the last team New Zealand, skipper Russell Coutts and tactician Brad Butterworth departed to the challenger Alinghi. Something completely and utterly normal in Soccer or other international sports hurt the Kiwis to the core and the two poor blokes were probably the most despised New Zealanders on the islands.

Hence the "theme song" of the 2003 campaign: Dave Dobbyn's "Loyal".

Nevertheless, we wish the Kiwi's luck, as these days they don't win a lot these days, as they are now loosing to the Australians in most of those, ahem, "special" sports: Netball, Rugby and Cricket.

Source: http://americascup.yahoo.com/story228.html, http://xtramsn.co.nz/teamnewzealand/

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