July 2017: We’ve done it… again

Emirates Team NZ take a bow!

Helen Perry, Editor

Yes, America’s Cup is again New Zealand’s Cup and aren’t we a proud nation?

Dare I say I almost lost faith ahead of this campaign but, nevertheless, man about the house and I rose at 5am every race day and watched with bated breath, not daring to say one word which might jinx this brilliant team’s chances.

And, then that final crossing of the line and what joy! There was jubilation in every quarter – here, there, everywhere. We all know this was a team effort in the widest sense of the word.

The victory went beyond those six crew with Peter Burling as helmsmen, and which included his 49er Olympic gold partner, former St Kent’s student, Blair Tuke and, of course, captain Glenn Ashby, an Australian no less, or shouldn’t I say?

There was the ground crew, the designers, the boat builders, the sponsors and many, many more, not least team CEO, Grant Dalton, who never lost faith in New Zealand
regaining the America’s Cup. Of course, thanks must also go to Emirates which remained on board as the major sponsor despite our heavy defeat in 2013. Whatever the corporate reasons behind this sponsorship, I salute the airline and I am, personally, so grateful they were there to help make this dream come true.

As I watched and listened to the morning’s reports, I was especially struck by the genuine elation of our Auckland mayor, Phil Goff, his enthusiasm, admiration of the team and heartfelt delight for them and New Zealand was infectious.

Then as I drove to work I heard a replay of Breeze broadcaster Jeanette Thomas’ race commentary. Her loud excitement and, then, ecstasy as Emirates Team NZ raced for and crossed the finish line should be heard by everyone; it did, indeed, come from the heart of this former
local.

Despite the overwhelming sense of glee I was met with all morning, I realised that some folk would undoubtedly point out that the money could have been better spent elsewhere.

But, you know, sometimes a nation’s spirits need this kind of lift in light of the multitude of grim events that surround us daily.

I, too, can think of many places that such money would be well spent, but at the end of the day I, like others, buy things with money which could be put to better use, so I’m not going to tell those wonderful sponsors where they should be putting their money. After all, it is their money and I think the outcome has confirmed their faith in a remarkable team coming from a country of just 4.5 million people.

We have, yet again, shown the world that good things often come in little packages or, perhaps that should be, great things come from small beginnings.