On July 3, 2007, the Defender, Alinghi, won the America's Cup, defeating the Challenger Emirates Team New Zealand.
The scenes on the podium, were joyous, with a laughing Ernesto Bertarelli carried on to the stage by team members. Of Team New Zealand there was no sign; supporters said they weren't invited. Maybe they weren't, but they were, certainly, invited to hold a press conference, after the winner's conference and this they declined to do.
According to one NZ commentator, that was because "they felt that an America's Cup regatta should end in way that has more to do with sportsmen and they way they salute each other, after doing battle, than a corporate positioning exercise."

It is hard to understand in what way Team New Zealand felt that the finale of the 32nd America’s Cup was a corporate positioning exercise. It is, however, quite possible that – by the time the Cup was won – members of the Alinghi team were more than a little tired of being called “traitors” by New Zealanders, which might have coloured their feelings towards the Challenger.

There was nothing very sportsmanlike about the way, whenever an Alinghi boat was towed out, the word “traitor” echoed across the canal. It, eventually, caused Ernesto Bertarelli to ask “It’s been seven years, why don’t they get over it?”, referring to the day Russell Coutts and other Kiwis left Team New Zealand and joined Alinghi.

If that feeling were just the sentiment of a few over patriotic supporters, one might understand it, but there are indications that it pervaded the heart of Team New Zealand’s way of thinking. Professor Roger Boshier, a researcher for Grant Dalton, commented on Ernesto Bertarelli’s remarks like this: “Brother Bertarelli needs to realize two things. First, more than 90 years have passed since upper-class  Englishmen ordered Aussie and Kiwi boys “over the top” at Gallipoli. One out of five young New Zealand men never returned from colonial debacle. Have New Zealanders forgotten? No!”

There is no doubt that a large number of New Zealanders perished at Gallipoli, but so did a far larger number of British and French soldiers and, where it comes to comparing losses in terms of percentages, what is now the Republic of Ireland had a more massive casualty rate than New Zealand. Yet, you will be hard pressed to find a citizen of France, Britain or Ireland that still holds a grudge over something that happened 90 years ago.

Ernesto Bertarelli is right; it is time for Team New Zealand to move on and forget and there is every indication that many New Zealanders would like to do that. Many feel that Coutts and company, who joined Alinghi, were no different from the many other professional Kiwi sailors who have gone to sail for other teams, since there could never be enough positions in one NZ defender to provide them all with employment. The rational view is that to bear a grudge and not welcome back Coutts, if he made himself available, would be a mistake.

Brad Butterworth was right when he said, recently, "If you look at Team New Zealand this time, it's run in an autocratic fashion and it's all about how you've got to be tougher than the other teams.” That ‘we are tougher’ attitude came over loud and clear, from our very first visit to Team New Zealand, to our last. It came over in the impassive faces of the team, when they crossed a finishing line, whether as winners, or losers. It came over when Grant Dalton was heard to say “No man love”, when the team won the Louis Vuitton Cup, it came over in the way that, during the America's Cup races, unlike Alinghi sailors, the New Zealanders did not make themselves readily available to the press..

“At Alinghi, we were banking on being smarter, not tougher.” said Butterworth. They were, because they won the America’s Cup and until the atmosphere around Team New Zealand changes, until talk of traitors ends, until natural joy in winning is not suppressed, until the America’s Cup ceases to be equated with Gallipoli, it is hard to see how Team New Zealand can mount a successful Challenge.