America's Cup: Bubbly stays firmly in the fridge

By Steve Deane

Some schools have been watching the races live. Left, supporters celebrate Team NZ's tense victory yesterday. Photo / Gilles Martin-Raget
Some schools have been watching the races live. Left, supporters celebrate Team NZ's tense victory yesterday. Photo / Gilles Martin-Raget

The bubbly has already been on ice longer than expected, and venues catering to Auckland's yachting fans are no longer taking it for granted that America's Cup victory celebrations are imminent.

Team New Zealand's dramatic win in yesterday's second race will have restored some confidence - and the Kiwis could close out the regatta with two more wins tomorrow - but Oracle's startling improvement coupled with Aotearoa's near calamitous capsize on Sunday has seen cautious optimism replace premature jubilation.

"We haven't been counting our chickens at all," said Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron vice-commodore Andy Anderson.

"It is yacht racing and every series is not won until the last race and you have got your nose across the finish line."

The club has been hosting breakfasts for members and guests on race mornings but has so far made no plans for a celebration should Team New Zealand seal the deal.

"Until we have won it we won't be doing any planning," Mr Anderson said.

"The Cup could have been all over on [Sunday] with how close it came to going over, but it came back and did the right thing.

"As they say, cats have got nine lives. We are using them up quickly."

Viaduct eatery Soul Bar & Bistro has been hosting race day breakfasts in conjunction with Team New Zealand sponsor Nespresso.

The invite-only events have been fully subscribed but no one has reached for the champagne just yet.

"A few guys have had a few beers, that has been the limit," Soul owner Judith Tabron said. "Certainly nobody believes it is home yet."

The venue owns a Cup replica made to help raise funds for Sir Michael Fay's campaigns, but Ms Tabron has resisted the urge to spread images of it.

"I'm not prepared to Facebook a photo of it. You can see it but I am not prepared to say we have got it yet."

While Shed 10 continues to host big crowds to its big screens, businesses and schools have been accommodating those hooked on watching the racing.

Datacom and KPMG are among the companies to have put on breakfasts and viewings for employees.

At Campbell's Bay School students gathered around a TV screen in the library and brandished signs encouraging Team New Zealand yesterday.

At Belmont Intermediate teachers have been live streaming the coverage on students' iPads and transferring it on to projectors.

At Stella Maris Catholic Primary School's morning assembly students and staff "leaned for Dean" in a successful attempt to boost the Kiwis' boat speed in the second race.

- NZ Herald

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