Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

They're the Champions

Team New Zealand's staggering 5-0 defeat of Italy's Luna Rossa must have had divine approval. As the black boat entered the stadium-like Viaduct Basin to a heroes' welcome this afternoon, the sun broke through clouds that had darkened Auckland's skies for two days.

The America's Cup, perched high on its pedestal on a floating stage, glistened in the bright sunlight -- a natural spotlight focused on yacht racing's Holy Grail.

A cheering throng of some 70,000 crazed fans jammed the waterfront to greet the Kiwi crew as America's Cup Central became Party Central. Every conceivable vantage point was several people deep, everyone craning for a look at the boys on the black boat. The Basin itself was chock-a-block with boats.

Deep blue New Zealand flags and red socks waved in the southeasterly breeze that carried their sailors to the decisive fifth win over Italy's Luna Rossa. The flag-wavers sang a verse of the national anthem, then broke into a sing-song chorus:

"We're the champions, we're the champions, we're the champions ... of the world."

Horns of every pitch and tenor tooted and wailed as Black Magic approached. The crowd literally roared its approval. The exultant sailors sprayed champagne on each other and anyone within reach of the arcing bubbly. Black-and-white confetti and red-and-green streamers filled the air, the streamers clinging to New Zealand's magical "millennium rig."

Skipper Russell Coutts and his protégé Dean Barker, who was on the helm for today's fifth and final win, quickly raised the Auld Mug triumphantly overhead. Again the crowd roared its approval. After the bitterly disappointing elimination of the All Blacks rugby team from the World Cup last year, the citizens of this small island nation were hungry for a champion so they could once again lift their chins to the world.

"What a fantastic scene we had at the waterfront today," said Coutts. "I don't think I've ever seen a more emotional scene than that."

The mode was celebratory, but the celebrants were gracious to the vanquished. As Luna Rossa and her downcast Italian crew entered the basin, the song "Luna Rossa" blared from loudspeakers. The crowd on the quay raised their collective arms to the enchanting melody and swayed in unison to the syncopated beat.

A member of the Yacht Club Punta Ala, which led the Prada Challenge, was in awe. "I am very surprised at all the people. This is like a stadium, it is like Wembley," he said, asking not to be identified. "Yachting is a small sport in Italy. It is not the big sport, not like it is here in New Zealand, but one man, Mr. [Patrizio] Bertelli [head of the Prada Challenge], made it bigger."

The club member said the Italian people who followed the racing were happy to see Prada in the America's Cup final, even if the Italians didn't win.

"In Italy we say, 'We went to Rome, but we didn't see the Pope," he added. "But we will say to Mr. Bertelli, 'We are proud of you and we thank you very much.' He will be back."

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election