America's Cup: Eleventh hour haka for Team NZ

By Morgan Tait

Emirates Team New Zealand supporters deliver a haka, after the dock out, at America's Cup Park before Race 17 of the America's Cup. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Emirates Team New Zealand supporters deliver a haka, after the dock out, at America's Cup Park before Race 17 of the America's Cup. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Calling all Kiwis: A mass haka to give Emirates Team New Zealand a final push of support has been planned as they walk to their boat before tomorrow morning's deciding race.

New Zealanders in San Francisco were being rallied late today to perform the national symbol on the dock to show the team support was not waning ahead of their final chance to secure the America's Cup.

The event has been organised by Moa beer staff operating a pop-up bar that the team walks past each day on their way to their boat.

"We want to show that support is not fading and we are there and going to give as much support as we possibly can with as much gusto as we possible can," Moa chief executive Geoff Ross told the Herald.

Support for the initiative had been widespread and Mr Ross expected nearly every New Zealander in San Francisco to show.

"I'd say it is almost all Kiwis in the area," he said. "There are Kiwi boat builders, Kiwis from far and wide, pretty much all the Kiwis who live in the bay are coming."

Participants were urged to meet at the bar a few hours before the first race was scheduled to organise their "game plan", said Mr Ross.

Support for Team New Zealand has been rife on their competitor's turf for the duration of the racing. A large contingent of New Zealanders have flooded the city - and brought with them 10,000 of the nation's flags to decorate it with.

One trio of fervent Kiwis decorated the garage of one of cup organiser Larry Ellison's San Francisco properties with the flags, and a video of the stunt went viral.

Even Americans have jumped on the team's side, including billionaire Jim Clark who was so disgusted by the cheating scandal that enveloped Oracle Team USA, he proudly displayed the New Zealand ensign and Team NZ supporters flag from his 90ft superyacht, Athena.

- NZ Herald

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