Think of the tourists in four years! This week, the tiny, plucky emirate of New Zealand - where birds walk and boats fly - has once again taken clutch of our precious; that shining boat race trophy which has bewitched so many a billionaire.

The sovereign nation of Oracle decided not to defend on American water, preferring Bermuda instead, no doubt for excellent tax reasons.

The America's Cup takes time - what with challenger races, fundraising, depreciation, etc - so Bermuda made sense.

Sponsors could make deductible use of downtime, to meet financial advisors and attorneys on perfect sand, and comb for new shells to cloak and vejazzle their Caribbean companies.


The moment the NZ boat's final logo crossed the finish line, a nation's hands rubbed together: tourists! Always, the tourists.

It doesn't matter what the pursuit is, we want people here on a package deal. Movies?

Never mind the plot, look at the scenery! Music? Lorde might not be proud of her address, but we are! Sport? Whatever takes your fancy, we'll become the Hi-de-Hi holiday camp and host.

Why, just this week in Wellington, the Hurricanes gave the Lions a draw just to get the repeat business.

There's gotta be easier ways to attract tourism.

Talk about a circuitous route: hot-house children from the age of six into competitive sailing, until decades later, they manage to win Olympic gold medals, then have them ascend to the billionaire's rung of that sport - where even the general money-burning of yachting seems frugal; where thoroughbred-racing seems prudent and thrifty; and where golf looks like Kiwi Saver - and only then, once in the hunt for the America's Cup, having navigated lawsuits, rule manipulation, base skullduggery, and weather, and having managed to come up with that one, game-changing techno-surprise that makes all the difference - it flies! we pedal! - the pay-off is to host the event some four financial years after, and finally, as a nation, watch other Kiwis make money from, I don't know, AirBnB.

Well, it sure shows patience.

Of course, there's the benefits to industry. Any billionaire who's now in the market for a comfort free yacht, devoid of staterooms, bar fridges and loungers, but boasting a bob-sled sized gymnasium where the instructors are holding a spin class - well, it's only available in one shop.


Aotearoa was a super yacht, sure, but no superyacht. It looked like a sculpture made of razor blades and toothpicks.

Pedalling was so obvious in hindsight. Who needs Olympic rowers to grind, when Olympic cyclists can sprint? And how long before Elon Musk gets into yachting, and turns all the sails into artificially intelligent solar panels? (Copyright.)

Before New Zealanders had even woken up, we sleep-wondered: should the public purse fund the defence? Think of the tourism! Think of the benefits to gridlock! Not to mention the trickle down for the dental industry, as becalmed motorists grind their teeth to the gums.

But what about interest rates? House prices? Would the Reserve Bank sponsor the defending boat?

I'm fine with Auckland's council funding the America's Cup defence, as long as that winning catamaran is scaled up, and mass produced, to ferry the public, and take the pressure off Auckland's roads.

Imagine if those catamarans - the tuktuk of the ocean - were actual Auckland public transport. Finally, cyclists would get some respect.

Bridge? We don't need no bridge! We have Sarah Ulmer driving this bus!

But even with the forced sentiment of sporting success, it might be unpopular to devote serious Government money to yachting.

It's not quite like funding Donald Jr and Eric on a hunting trip, but it certainly exemplifies a level of loaded.

So we have to find our own Larry Ellison. And fortunately we have our very own, dinkum Kiwi, Silicon Valley, local-boy-done-good: Peter Thiel, the Trump supporter so committed to that vision of America, he managed to pick up New Zealand citizenship after only four visits.

Peter Thiel was so sure he wanted New Zealand citizenship, he didn't even need to spend time here to make sure.

He didn't even come here for his citizenship ceremony. For him, New Zealand is a state of mind, more than a location. Now that's when you know our brand has been a success.

In four years, Peter Thiel could surely underwrite Facebook Team New Zealand, just from interest from the petty cash.

Imagine. Everyone's timeline, chocka with video of our yacht winning, as Peter Montgomery repeats his mantra. At least it's a pleasant distraction.