Emirates Team New Zealand, above, competes at the America’s Cup in Bermuda on June 25. New Zealand won its first Cup since 2000
Gregory Bull—AP
By Sean Gregory
June 29, 2017

The vessels in the world’s most prestigious sailing race are less like the boats parked at the local marina than wind-powered torpedoes that shoot across the sea and air at speeds topping 50 m.p.h.

These souped-up catamarans are marvels of aerodynamic engineering, but it was a decidedly analog innovation that helped Emirates Team New Zealand capture the 35th America’s Cup, a 7-1 rout of Oracle Team USA in Bermuda.

The team powered the boat with bike pedals, rather than the standard hand crank, and even added an Olympic cyclist to its crew. With the win, New Zealand avenged its painful defeat to the U.S. at the last Cup, in 2013, when the Kiwis blew a seven-race lead in San Francisco.

Oracle Team USA owner Larry Ellison chose to host the regatta in Bermuda, the first time a U.S. team had elected to defend the title outside the country in the 166-year history of the event. Expect the next Cup, likely in 2021, to be contested in Auckland.


This appears in the July 10, 2017 issue of TIME.


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