This article was published in the Herald on May 15, 1995 - the day after Team New Zealand won the America's Cup in San Diego.
Team New Zealand had to fight a war of roses and wine as they became only the second nation in 144 years to wrest the America's Cup away from its United States home yesterday.
For more than 10 minutes the crew and their incredible boat, NZL32, nicknamed Black Magic, were pelted with flowers and soaked with the spray of champagne magnums after they were towed to the San Diego Yacht Club to take ownership of the Auld Mug.
But even last night, hours after they had beaten Dennis Conner's Stars and Stripes crew in the final race of the 5-0 series whitewash, the magnitude of the victory was still not appreciated.
"It won't sink in for quite a while - if ever," said Team New Zealand boss Peter Blake immediately after the 1m 50s win.
"But for now it's pretty damn good. It was everyone's dream and it has finally come true."
Winch-grinder Craig Monk said: "I'd really like to be home in Auckland right now.
"This is still America, and until we get the mug back home it won't quite feel like it's ours."
Tears came freely to the big, tough grinder Andrew Taylor - the only crewman to have sailed in every New Zealand attempt to win the cup since the KZ7 campaign in Fremantle in 1987.
"Over all these years I never felt like giving up the fight for this cup," Taylor said. "This is the greatest moment of my life. It is great to be bringing the cup back to a nation who will really appreciate it. It will be the best plane trip I've ever had."
While Dennis Conner was near tears as he had to let go of the Auld Mug for the second time in his illustrious cup career - the other time to Australia in 1983 - he said he felt the cup was going to a perfect new home.
"If the cup had to leave San Diego, there could be no better home for it than Auckland, New Zealand," he said. "It's a just reward, and congratulations to all of those who are in New Zealand - you can be justifably proud of your heroes."
The New Zealand team won the cup in five straight races in the best-of-nine challenge series, after an exhausting series of elimination races against potential challengers from four other countries.
The final race margins were:
• Race 1: 2m 45s
• Race 2: 1m 14s
• Race 3: 1m 51s
• Race 4: 3m 37s
• Race 5: 1m 50s