Festival of Sail action in Auckland
17 Mar 2010
Aucklanders are currently being treated to a sailing extravaganza on and off the water - with the America’s Cup silver trophy visiting town along with many of the world’s top sailors who’ve competed for it.
The Cup is back in New Zealand after a seven year absence - but this time just for a three day visit. It is on public display at the Voyager, New Zealand Maritime Museum, before going home to the San Francisco Golden Gate Yacht Club.
The Auld Mug’s visit has added weight to Auckland’s Festival of Sail in which international sailing teams are competing for the Louis Vuitton Trophy.
Sir Russell Coutts
Legendary Kiwi yachtsman Sir Russell Coutts, who has four overall wins in the America’s Cup and remains unbeaten in the Match since 1995, oversaw the return of the Auld Mug to Auckland.
Sir Russell is chief executive of BMW Oracle, the American syndicate that won the Cup in Valencia, Spain last month.
He said Oracle representatives were in New Zealand consulting with teams about the next edition of the America’s Cup.
"It’s appropriate that we bring the trophy to Auckland this week. Most of the America’s Cup community is in town, including Mascalzone Latino, the team for our Challenger of Record, racing in the Louis Vuitton Trophy.
"Bringing the Cup back to New Zealand now, during this regatta, will help to get everyone excited and focussed on what happens next," said Sir Russell.
Auckland City Mayor John Banks said it was a treat for the people of Auckland to see the America’s Cup back in the city where it lived for eight years after Team New Zealand won it in San Diego in 1995.
The Cup was housed in the trophy room at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron until Team New Zealand lost it again in 2003.
"Having the oldest trophy in yachting on display here is a tribute to the Louis Vuitton Trophy and the showcase match racing taking place on our Waitemata Harbour at the moment. May it return again soon, hopefully for a longer stay," said Banks.
Louis Vuitton Trophy
Meanwhile on the water, just beyond where the America’s Cup is on display, there has been some action-packed racing in the final week of the Louis Vuitton Trophy.
Yesterday (16.3.10) seven races were packed into a long, incident-filled day on the Waitemata Harbour which completed the round robin and left Emirates Team New Zealand as the top seed, with a 6-1 record.
Italy’s Mascalzone Latino Audi Team is second with 5-2. Today (17.3.10) the first elimination round sees 4th seed Azzurra vs. 5th seed Artemis; 3rd seed All4One vs. 6th seed TEAMORIGIN; 2nd seed Mascalzone Latino Audi Team vs. 7th seed ALEPH; 1st seed Emirates Team New Zealand vs. 8th seed Synergy.
The elimination rounds continue until the regatta finals on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 March.
Auckland’s Festival of Sail then continues with the BMW Sailing World Cup Final from 21 - 25 March in which amateur sailors from seven international teams sail identical boats to determine the world’s best amateur match racing crew.
More information on the Festival of Sail:
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