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NZ's Americas Cup Defender Christened

America's Cup Update

"I christen her...." with these words Lady Blake, wife of Sir Peter, smashed not champagne, but a sponsor's bottle of Steinlager to launch New Zealand NZL57, Team New Zealand's new matt-black sleek defender of the America's Cup.

Attending the special ceremony were invited guests including Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, who took time out from her APEC duties to attend the function at the Viaduct Harbour. Festooned in bunting, flags and under the glare of spotlights, the new boat took on a stealthy appearance as she gently rocked at her mooring as a back drop to the festivities on shore. Having earlier undergone a brief test cruise out on the Hauraki Gulf, skipper Russell Coutts said the boat had made an excellent debut.

Other challenger yachts in the water last week were those belonging to the Spanish and Hawaiians, bringing a total of six new generation boats to the Cup Village. The Swiss, flew in their new boat, Be Happy, from Switzerland in a giant transport aircraft. It has now being fitted out at a local boat yard.

An information pack for private boaties is being produced by the Auckland Regional Council, in conjunction with the Coastguard, Dept. of Conservation, and Watersafe.
The pack aims to inform boaties on safety issues in relation to the Cup and taking care of the flora and fauna when ashore on the Gulf Islands. The DOC brochure, with a foreword by Sir Peter Blake, will be available shortly.

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