AC34: No Team NZ buzz on streets of San Francisco

Published on July 15th, 2013

By Dave Armstrong,
It was meant to be a quiet trip overseas, away from things New Zealand. It was only after we booked our tickets that my wife and I realised that we would be in San Francisco during the opening of the America’s Cup.

We were expecting to see cup hype everywhere, and to constantly be asked about the finer points of Team New Zealand’s strategy, and the best spots for a New Zealand vacation.

No such luck. In the city’s busy shopping district, we saw a bus drive past with a large ad from an international shoe chain proudly proclaiming that it was sponsoring Team New Zealand’s footwear, and that was it.

The flimsy, tabloid-sized establishment newspaper, the once-great San Francisco Chronicle, carried the odd America’s Cup article, mainly about protests, and local television news did likewise until a Korean plane crashed at the local airport and all other news disappeared.

On July 4, Independence Day and the day that the America’s Cup challenge officially opened, I couldn’t find any local coverage of the event. TV was too busy showing septuagenarian Barry Manilow singing I Write the Songs on the White House Lawn, with thousands of obese white Americans draped in the American Flag singing along. I had to check New Zealand news websites for any yachting news.

However, one morning, as we were walking along the Embarcadero, which is like a long Oriental Pde, we saw a black boat elegantly whizzing past at the speed of a Kent Tce boy racer. We both felt a flush of patriotic pride as Team New Zealand sailed away.

Yet I can’t help wondering whether the $36 million our Government shelled out for the boat to compete will be money well spent. – Read on

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