America's Cup: Kiwi fans still hopeful for win

By Brendan Manning

Shed 10 on Auckland's waterfront has been a popular destination for America's Cup fans, but they have had little to cheer about in recent days. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Shed 10 on Auckland's waterfront has been a popular destination for America's Cup fans, but they have had little to cheer about in recent days. Photo / Sarah Ivey

A dejected crowd of more than 1000 sailing fans left Shed 10 on Auckland's Queens Wharf this morning hoping Emirates Team New Zealand will finally clinch a win tomorrow morning.

The crowd were on tenterhooks while watching race 14 and 15 this morning.

Keith and Jenny Berry and their 8-year-old daughter Sarah, from Glenfield, commiserated with cups of tea from a Thermos and a piece of cake as the losses sunk in.

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"I must admit, I thought we had them," Mr Berry said.

"I'm hanging on for the next one now...I thought we had them but they just got away."

Before the race began, Mrs Berry said they had been at Shed 10 every day apart from yesterday.

It was the fifth day they had taken their daughter out of Windy Ridge Primary School, but Mr Berry said it was justifiable for such a one-off historic event.

Oracle Team USA beats Emirates Team New Zealand to the first mark in Race 14 of the America's Cup. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Oracle Team USA beats Emirates Team New Zealand to the first mark in Race 14 of the America's Cup. Photo / Brett Phibbs

James Wigg, 43, said he had been following Team New Zealand since 1987 and found the last two races tense and nerve-racking.

"We need to be very tactical, very aggressive and very quick at the start.

"According to one of the other viewers I was talking to, if we'd gone around the outside instead of in between them and the mark, we would have had it."

Mr Wigg said he had watched every one of the America's Cup races at Shed 10 and he was enjoying being a part of a huge crowd.

However, unlike some of the other punters, he hadn't had to take time off work do to it. "Fortunately I'm a freelance web designer."

"I'd love to see us take it out, but based on what I've seen so far, unless we are able to change our tactics at the start and not make any mistakes [I don't know if we can]."

Retiree Barry Thorn, 69, said today's race was "exciting, but not the right result unfortunately".

Mr Thorn said he expected a win yesterday, "but even more so today".

"Let's hope we get it tomorrow."

Sarah Backhouse-Smith, 41, and her brother Gerard, 42, were also among the crowd.

Ms Backhouse-Smith described the races as "disappointing" as she had come expecting a win.

"We're still hanging in there but it gets more disappointing as America's wins escalate."

Mr Backhouse-Smith said it was their first time at Shed 10 to watch the race and he'd come in the mistaken belief "we're gonna win it today".

American-born Auckland mayoral candidate John Palino had shunned his country of birth and was backing Team New Zealand. "Absolutely."

"I've been down [at Shed 10] for all of them and I'll be back here tomorrow and hopefully we're gonna win it, we're gonna take it this time.

"This is great, it's about pulling people together and enjoying things together....the experience and the excitement.

"We can't be there in San Francisco, but we can be here as a community and it's fantastic."

- NZ Herald

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