Weather prime for rugby and fun
Sevens fans won’t need an umbrella this weekend – unless it’s for shade – with MetService predicting two great days.
Tomorrow morning – sunshine, light winds, max 17 degrees Celsius
Tomorrow aftennoon – mainly fine, some patchy cloud forming, northerlies picking up, max 23C
Tomorrow night – clear, winds dropping, max 18C
Saturday morning – mainly fine with patchy cloud, northerly winds, max 17C
Saturday afternnoon – mainly fine with patchy cloud, northerly winds, max 23C
Saturday evening – clear, winds dropping, max 19C.
THERE FOR THE RUGBY
Believe it or not, there are people who go to the Wellington Sevens each year to watch the rugby.
No, really, it's true. And this year - for the first time - organisers are catering for them.
Fans in the newly designated "rugby zone" may feel penned in, however: there are just four aisles dedicated to them, while the other 32 will remain dedicated to partying and frivolity.
The real rugby watchers will need to wear special wristbands to get into the area, described as "a dedicated zone for rugby fans to sit with like-minded people who want to watch and enjoy the rugby".
It has a prime location between the halfway line and goal line on the harbour side of the ground.
Marist St Pat's rugby delegate Alan Woods has commended the plan, saying it could become the norm in future.
"The timing is certainly not too soon. The [partying] image is not doing much for the game. You only have to look at the TV when there's a game on . . . and have a look and see how many people are watching the game. There's more people in the concourse than the bowl."
He predicts fans will take to the idea and the zone may spread each year. "I think it's something that's going to grow . . . It's good forward thinking. Gradually they'll turn it back into a rugby event."
Steve Walters, general manager of the Hertz Wellington Sevens, said it was crucial to have an area dedicated to watching the sport.
"Rugby sevens is now an Olympic sport and we wanted to make sure that avid fans have somewhere dedicated to watching the rugby without interruptions."
The dedicated and secure rugby zone will extend from aisles 24 to 28, with security on the aisles.
Fans in the zone receive: an exclusive tournament partner discount book, sevens greats giving away spot prizes, an event programme and day-two draw, plus girls and boys giving out free chilled water.
Tickets were available for rugby club members from Wellington rugby unions.
FANS OF DRINKING
Anyone planning to drink alcohol will need a wristband.
Each day will have a different coloured wristband, available from marquees set up along the walkway before the ticket gates.
The wristbands must be worn on the right arm.
If you look under 25, you will need ID.
There’s no shortage of spicy Sevens costumes around, but three Victoria University students decided they would add a little sugar.
For their first time at the event, Natacha Sanguinetti, Kate Bowen and Jess Hunt decided to go as pavlovas.
In ‘‘typical student fashion’’, they left their costume choice to the last minute, until Miss Hunt, 20, a design student, came up with a few drawings, one of which was the pav.
‘‘I was actually surprised everybody agreed to be dressed up as a pudding.’’
With only a week to go, the construction was full on – ‘‘anybody that visited our flat was conned into painting kiwifruit’’.
Five of them will wear the outfits tomorrow and on Saturday, and Hunt said they were ‘‘quite pleased’’ with the result, especially as they were originally a little worried people would not understand what the outfits were.
As sevens newbies, they are already getting excited.
‘‘I don’t quite know what to expect,’’ Miss Hunt said. ‘‘I do want to go to some of the games though.’’
The group may be dressing as an iconic Kiwi dessert, but they won’t automatically be cheering for the boys in black.
Sanguinetti is considering supporting her native France.
Hunt, originally from Britain, confessed that if it came down to a final between the Kiwis and England, she would have to cheer for the latter.
Originality and hard work are what it will take to win the $10,000 Costume Catwalk prize, the man who is offering the money says.
Museum Art Hotel owner Chris Parkin is putting up $25,000 in prize money, and offered tips yesterday on how to impress the judges, including himself.
Although he will be attending the Sevens in a hired Louis XVI costume, with Marie Antoinette by his side, his first piece of advice is that hired will not do.
"The judges are looking for originality of concept, of design. They're looking for [a costume with] a lot of hard work and skill put in."
Well-executed group outfits, such as 2010's 101 Dalmatians, also tended to catch the judges' eyes.
"It's just that much more difficult to get a good group costume going. [The dalmatians] was an absolute triumph of organisation and creativity."
There will be five costume categories - for best male, best female, best group, best couple and best "creative Wellington" - plus an overall winner who receives a grand prize of $10,000.
Say what you want about the taxi girls or the Borat mankini being bigger than the rugby itself, Mr Parkin believes costumes are a definitive part of the sevens and should be celebrated.
"It's a party, and the costumes make it a party."
The Dominion Post