America's Cup: First cheering, then silence

By Heather McCracken

A huge crowd has gathered at Shed 10 this morning to watch what will (hopefully) be the final races of the America's Cup. Photo / NZ Herald
A huge crowd has gathered at Shed 10 this morning to watch what will (hopefully) be the final races of the America's Cup. Photo / NZ Herald

First the cheering, then the silence.

The premature end of today's second America's Cup race due to high winds confused hundreds of fans watching on the big screen at Shed 10 on Auckland's Queens Wharf because they had been clapping too loud to hear the commentary.

The silence was followed by a loud groan as news of the postponement filtered in, and then the venue emptied within minutes as most headed off to work.

Dave Mellor was particularly disappointing after describing Dean Barker's move to take the start from Oracle in the aborted race as "the best slam dunk I've seen in yachting for the past 30 years".

"He just nailed him. It was brilliant."

He and wife Linda won't be able to return tomorrow, so Mr Mellor was considering opening the clubrooms at New Lynn's Bay Olympic football club to watch the action instead.

Mrs Mellor said her husband had been wearing the same Emirates Team New Zealand jersey for luck throughout the racing.

"He won't take it off. It hasn't been washed or anything."

Murray Oliver, who grew up down the road from Sir Peter Blake and went to school with the Kiwi sailing legend, said he'll be back at Queens Wharf to watch again tomorrow - and was confident the kiwis would win.

"I think Barker's just got the measure of them really," he said.

"They've still got to win eight and we've got to win one so I can't see us losing from here, unless they sink it."

San Francisco resident Karl Freter, who is visiting Auckland on business, said he was still rooting for Oracle, but New Zealand seemed to be faster.

Mr Freter was the only person to cheer when the crowd was asked if any Oracle Team USA fans were present.

"I think New Zealand has shown they have the better boat. I don't know enough to say whether they have a better crew.

"I think Oracle learned a bit in the early races but they're just too far behind."

Hundreds of sailing fans also turned out at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, where the postponement brought cries of despair.

Club commodore Andy Anderson said weather had been an inevitable obstacle throughout the races.

"They've set these parameters where effectively the average wind is too high."

The atmosphere was one of quiet confidence with fans saying New Zealand performed well in the first race.

"It's very exciting, they did very well," Andrea Trubuhovich said.

"It was very nerve-racking but tomorrow morning will be great. We're all emotionally prepared. It's going to happen. Whatever it takes to win."

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a1 at 13 Jul 2014 21:50:11 Processing Time: 682ms