Simon van Velthooven has taken his track cycling ability and become part of sailing legend.  The 2012 Olympic keirin bronze medallist was part of the winning Emirates Team New Zealand boat that took out a dominant win in the America’s Cup, beating Oracle Team USA 7-1 in an emphatic display by the Kiwi boat.

The revelation that Emirates Team New Zealand would debut foot pedals as opposed to the customary hand-driven grinders at the America’s Cup campaign this year was an exciting one for cycling fans; as the team announced in February that Simon van Velthooven would be brought on board to be part of this new technical set up.

Van Velthooven was disappointed to miss out on the New Zealand sprint cycling team for the Rio Olympics, but channelled that disappointment into a new venture on the sea.  He took to his new task like a duck to water – if you’ll pardon the pun – and the accolades have followed.

Despite starting the America’s Cup against Oracle Team USA with -1 points, the New Zealand team, with Peter Burling at the helm were unfazed, and set about dominating the American boat that had broken Kiwi hearts just a few years earlier.  After losing just one race in the entire match, New Zealand ran away with the win with a resounding 7-1 triumph over their arch rivals.  It is the first time since 2000 that a New Zealand team has won the America’s Cup.

Congratulations to Simon van Velthooven on a truly outstanding achievement . . . . and come back to the track soon!


Photo:  Dianne Manson / CyclingNZ


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