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America's Cup 2000 Goes Sky High

The America's Cup will reach an all time high this week. Plans have been approved for the official America's Cup 2000 logo to be displayed on the northern face of Auckland's Sky Tower.

A 25 metre high and 18 metre wide logo will be positioned just below the lower observation gallery at a height of 178 metres, making it the highest sign ever displayed on a building in New Zealand.

In Australia, the traditional Olympic rings and images of athletes are displayed on the Centre Point Tower in the middle of Sydney; but at a lesser height than the planned logo on Auckland's 328 metre Sky Tower which is the twelfth tallest building in the world.

The distinctive America's Cup 2000 logo is now being computer cut from rolls -- with a length of nearly half a kilometre -- of a special vinyl that has been airfreighted from Europe. Work will start on applying the self-adhesive material to the silver panels and darkened windows of the Sky Tower pod later this week. The material is guaranteed to be removable.

It is planned to have the logo applied in time for the Queen Street Welcome Parade and official Opening Ceremony for the challenging syndicates and Team New Zealand on Friday, 15 October.

A sub committee of the Auckland City Council's Planning and Regulatory Committee gave its approval for the temporary sign at a meeting last week. Permission has been granted for it to be displayed until the end of April 2000.

"It's great to have our official logo displayed on such a widely recognised Auckland icon," said America's Cup 2000 Event Director Tony Thomas.

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"The Sky Tower provides a dramatic backdrop for the New Zealand Cup Village and is a fitting symbol of the high technology and sophisticated communications involved in this global event.

"It also underlines the fact that there is America's Cup action in Auckland City as well as out on the Hauraki Gulf."

The Westhaven-based company Signing On will work alongside experienced Sky Tower personnel during the application process which is expected to take several days. A four-man team will work from two enclosed platforms normally used for cleaning and maintenance of the tower.

The men who will apply the sign to the Sky Tower have already spent time suspended inside the apparatus to become acclimatised to the height and conditions and to train in the strict safety procedures.

"Apart from the extraordinary height, this is a relatively straightforward job," said Ross Hall of Signing On. "It's an exciting challenge -- and certainly a coup for the sign industry in New Zealand."

Sky City Managing Director Evan Davies said the America's Cup 2000 signage would be the first ever displayed on Sky Tower despite numerous requests from groups in the past.

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