In many sporting contests, there are moments that define teams and often determine results.

Out of adversity comes opportunity, and from that, a team can grow closer and stronger, and become more formidable.

If a team has survived a major calamity and come out the other side, this gives strength and confidence in their ability to deal with other challenges.

It's the "silver lining" syndrome, finding advantage out of disadvantage.


It is not easy to do, but Emirates Team New Zealand have done this.

The pitch-pole capsize three days ago was one of those defining moments. The entire team came together and worked hard alongside one another, shoulder to shoulder, for the team.

In the early hours of the morning, when they were continuing to work on repairing the damage to Aotearoa, team members will have looked across at their mates and seen them digging deep, committed, determined and focused.

This builds respect, it builds team culture and commitment, it builds that special magic that can define teams and make them unbeatable.

New Zealand sailing has a long and proud history. Internationally, Kiwi "yachties" have huge respect and a reputation for being tough, honest, hardworking, brave and the kinds of crewmates you want with you when the proverbial hits the fan.

Probably only second to our rugby players, Kiwi sailors are revered.

This reputation has been hard-earned through around-the-world races, radical and innovative designs, a never-give-up attitude and through humility that is maintained through strong self-deprecating humour.

It is something I have always been proud of. To compete with an NZL on your sail means something special.


Over the past couple of days, Team New Zealand have made me proud.

They fronted and owned the mistakes that led to the capsize.

There was no finger-pointing or blaming others, or downcast heads within the team. Rather, we saw a "grunt up and get on with it" attitude that shows a resilience and determination - the hallmarks of a great team.

They have stayed true to their heritage as Kiwi yachties and added to the legacy of those who have gone before. Well done to all at Team New Zealand. Respect.

Mark Orams is the Weekend Herald's America's Cup expert and a former member of Team New Zealand.