Sir Peter Blake's widow has 'great faith' in Team New Zealand

The widow of two-time America's Cup winner Sir Peter Blake says she has great faith in Team New Zealand bringing the Auld Mug home again.

Lady Pippa Blake says her late husband would have loved the innovation on the water in Bermuda, but there is one thing she thinks he would have been cross about.

There are a lot of memories for Lady Pippa on Auckland's Harbour. The viaduct is a waterside asset Auckland may never have had, without the champion yachtsman's influence.

But Sir Peter's legacy is far greater than this - among his many feats, successive America's Cup wins in 1995 and 2000.

"New Zealand, little old New Zealand that no one thought would get anywhere has just won the America's Cup," Sir Blake said of his win in 1995. "It's just the second time in history that it's left America. I think that's pretty damn good."

Lady Pippa believes he would have loved the innovation on the water in Bermuda - with one caveat.

"I think he'd be really excited, I mean he loved multi- hulls, he loved going fast... The whole foiling issue - I think he'd be rather cross actually that it wasn't him out there."

Sir Peter died in 2001 at the hands of pirates in the Amazon, when he was shot defending his crew.

But Lady Pippa says his legacy is evident in today's team.

"I think they've been doing what was always one of his ways of doing things - is just to keep a low profile, just really slowly steadfastly get on with their job."

If all goes well, Team New Zealand will win back the Cup Sir Peter held so dear - a bit like Black Magic's 5-nil win over Dennis Conner's Team America in 1995.

And before you dismiss that possibility, there are some parallels with the Kiwi boats.

At the time Sir Peter called the boat "devastatingly fast".

"But if the wind goes even lighter we're just as good in those, a reasonably all round vessel and good crew," he said.

Lady Pippa says she would love to see history repeat itself.

"Do it, bring it back, bring it back. Let's see it back here in New Zealand. They're a great team and I have all faith in them."

You can't help but think Sir Peter would want us to dream it is possible.


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