Yes, if you have been lucky enough to be in New Zealand over the past week, the only place to have been is on the water in Hauraki Gulf enjoying the America’s Cup.
Nowhere else in the world could have staged this event this year, in this manner, and what fun we have had. Like all big money, world class sporting events there is plenty of marketing magic, and expensive memorabilia, but it is managed for maximum public participation. We have been out on the water on A Capella, Nikkitoo, Into the Blue and visited The Viaduct, the waterfront home of the America’s Cup. It is all very, very sociable and definitely too much good food and drink has been consumed; but it really is a one off so we made the most of it. In reality if you want to see the racing, television coverage is the best, but a little flat in comparison to being on the water watching the AC75 boats for real. It has been a very competitive event, but ultimately the best team won and rightly Auckland is jubilant. We took loads of photos so this is just a small sample of some very happy memories.
It hasn’t all been the glamour of the race course over the past month. Allures, the manufacturers of A Capella asked us if they could do some filming of the boat for their marketing material. This seemed like a fun project so while the boat was out of the water we had an extra incentive to make sure she was completely polished, and all the extra bits and bobs that collect around the deck were tidied away. We headed down to Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf to do the photography shortly after she was relaunched at the end of February. Rest assured we now have an endless supply of excellent photos and video.
The Hauraki gulf is a lovely area of islands and small bays just off Auckland. It is mostly accessible and there are good walking trails. What a delightful playground. We have particularly enjoyed Kawau island, Issy (Islington) Bay between Rangitoto and Motutapu Island, Waiheke Island and Motiuhe Island.
We were at Issy Bay when a tsunami warning was announced. Definitely a new experience and a bit alarming but thankfully it turned out to be a non event. We were not sure what to do as we were never going to get into the recommended 100 metres of water within the timeframe. We put out some more chain, Julian put on his lifejacket and clipped onto the boat, and we waited. Not even a ripple. Many of our friends were in more vulnerable spots and had to evacuate to higher ground.
We send our very best wishes to all of you and your families who are continuing to endure the difficult situation back at home. With the vaccination programme now in full swing there does appear to be light at the end of the tunnel. We do hope there is still some vaccine left for us when we return!