Kiwis at the Cup: Thomas Shoebridge

Thomas Shoebridge, logistics assistant for the Louis Vuitton Cup.
Thomas Shoebridge, logistics assistant for the Louis Vuitton Cup.

Q: With your Dad [Kevin Shoebridge, chief operating officer of ETNZ] being involved with Team NZ you must have been to quite a few America's Cups now?

I suppose this is my sixth one. I can't remember the first couple though. I was born in San Diego during the 1992 Cup [when Kevin was sailing for Sir Michael Fay's New Zealand Challenge], so I've been kicking around these things all my life.

Q: You're obviously pretty comfortable in this environment then?

Yeah, when I was growing up Dad did a lot of round the world races as well so I've been hanging around docks and containers forever. I feel a lot more comfortable being by the water than I do in a land-locked place.

Q: You've got yourself a job for this Cup ...

Yeah, I'm the logistics assistant for the Louis Vuitton Cup. I basically make sure everything is running to plan and on time, look after VIPs and guests and just help make sure all our events are running smoothly.

Q: How did you get that gig?

I just kind of heard about it through the grapevine. I was going to be up here for the America's Cup anyway so I was looking for work.

Q: Working for the organisers, do you have to try maintain a neutral stance and push your Team NZ allegiances to one side?

You've got to be as neutral as you can, but when you're talking with guests you probably talk more about the sport and the event in general rather than who you support.
Q: After the Louis Vuitton Cup wraps up do you get to put your fan hat on?

I'm definitely keen on sticking around. For the rest of the Cup I'll basically just get to be a spectator and fan and hang out with the family. It will be fun to go and watch the races.

Q: Have you spent much time down at the Team NZ base while you've been here?

Not as much as in other Cups, because I've been working. I've spent a bit of time down there for barbecues. One of the good things about Team NZ is there is pretty much a barbecue every night and everything's nice and casual.

- NZ Herald

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