Atmosphere in San Francisco 'unbelievable'

  • 18/09/2013

Kiwi yachties are eagerly anticipating the end of this year's America's Cup racing – provided Emirates Team New Zealand bring the cup home.

It was close to happening this morning, Team NZ nabbing the first of the two wins they needed for ultimate victory, but high winds forced officials to call off the second race just as it was about to begin.

The extra night of nerves won't be a hindrance for Dean Barker's crew however, says Yachting New Zealand CEO David Abercrombie.

"I think it's just another day at the office for them, to be honest," he said on Firstline this morning. "They won't be focusing on anything I'm sure apart from the race in hand. You can't afford to make mistakes.

"They will know exactly what they've got to do, they'll know what Oracle is capable of, and they'll just be out there to do the business. Thinking any further ahead than that is just dangerous, I think."

Abercrombie has spent the last few weeks in San Francisco with New Zealand's side competing in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup. He says the atmosphere there is "unbelievable", and fans won't mind an extra day of competition.

"It really is a remarkable place, and it's quite a unique atmosphere, it's quite a unique venue for an event like this. The areas where you can watch what's going on are certainly superior to any other venue I've been to."

Auckland might just have the edge on San Francisco, however.

"I think it would be tremendous," says Abercrombie. "We are fortunate that previous cups here have given us an infrastructure that was ahead of what San Francisco had."

And he says the benefits for the city – and New Zealand as a whole – go well beyond yachting.

"There are opportunities for boat builders, there are opportunities for electricians, designers, there are opportunities for kids to come through," he says.

"There's a pathway now for those Olympic classes to sail in the America's Cup and there's also tremendous opportunities for bed nights in Auckland [hotels]. I just don't think we've seen quite what this could mean to Auckland."

But first Team New Zealand have to win one more race, and prevent Oracle from winning eight on the trot in the first-to-nine series.

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source: newshub archive