America's Cup: Ninjas strike Oracle's heart

By Dana Johannsen

The Kiwis behind the dawn flag-bombing stunt at one of Larry Ellison's San Francisco properties yesterday said the operation took hours to research and plan.

A video posted online yesterday of a trio, calling themselves the Kiwi ninjas, decorating Mr Ellison's garage with New Zealand flags went viral. The idea was dreamed up by a group of fervent Team New Zealand supporters over a few beers.

One of the ninjas who donned the full lycra body suit, Cathy Odgers, said everything down to the type of duct tape they used to attach the flags to the garage door was thoroughly researched

"I think it would have taken five billable hours of planning the whole exercise," joked Ms Odgers, a lawyer, "but the result was priceless."

"We'd done a reconnaissance mission before that so we could get the logistics all nailed down."

Ms Odgers, who performed the stunt with builder Paul "Noddy" Holmes, and Daniel Welton (aka the random from Hawkes Bay) said they were careful not to cause any damage to Ellison's property, in the wealthy district of Presidio, which looks down on to the Golden Gate Bridge.

"It wasn't a wooden door, it was stainless steel - so it wasn't going to mark or anything like that. We didn't want his nice garage door ruined by duct tape."

The group figured they would have about a minute between setting off the security lights and one of "Larry's henchmen" coming to greet them.

"Our getaway plan was pretty much just running really, really fast," said Ms Odgers, who writes a right-wing blog under the pseudonym Cactus Kate.

For all their planning the ninjas did strike a problem - the lack of visibility of the lycra flagsuits. "It was about 5.30am and we couldn't see through the fabric so we had to wait until the sun was up so we could see," said Ms Odgers.

When the group returned to the house yesterday to have their photo taken for the Herald, one of Mr Ellison's security guards tried to snap pictures of the ninjas uncloaked.

Andrew Somervell, who filmed and edited the video, said: "It has resonated with a lot of people, not just Kiwis."

- NZ Herald

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