Waiting game goes on in Wellington
Capital yachties in for long haulHANK SCHOUTEN
Wellington's yachties are used to fighting the elements.
So they were in a better frame of mind than most as the long drawn out America's Cup drama drizzled another dose of disappointment this morning.
At least 200 enthusiasts and their families who filled the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club stoicly soaked up the news that racing in San Francisco was called off for yet another day.
Yachting stalwart Ian Dewhurst wore a still packaged, pristine pair of Team New Zealand red socks around his neck, but for all that was worth it may as well have been a dead albatross.
Mr Dewhurst, who skippers the yacht club rescue and tender boat, said he was used to the frustrations that yachting could bring.
But he was disappointed it was not wrapped up on the weekend as he had to go to work tomorrow and wouldn't be able to see it on the big screen.
Wellington Ocean Sports manager Matt Wood, whose sailing academy is based the the club, was at the club with his wife and four young children yesterday.
''It's been a stressful week, a real roller coaster," he said.
''It seems like an eternity since last Sunday when Team New Zealand nearly capsized.''
However, he said it was the best yacht racing he'd ever seen and it had done wonders for the sport, lifted its profile and had encouraged lots of people to sign up for sailing courses.
Club board member Deb Dewhurst of Titahi Bay, who had based herself in Wellington since Friday, said it had been a disappointing weekend.
''It would have been nice to have taken it away today. It's going to be difficult to keep getting time off work and calling in sick tomorrow is a bit too obvious.''
''I think we could still win the Cup. We've got the points, its just a matter of wind but it could be another week.''
Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown and challenger John Morrison were also there, sharing the agony and hoping to get an edge in their soon-to-be decided mayoral race.
Ms Wade-Brown, who is also vice president of the yacht club, said she had been down every morning to show her support for Team New Zealand as a victory would no doubt bring spin-off benefits for the city.
Mr Morrison said he was unsure he could handle too much more of the angst.
''Imagine if it went to 8-all, we'd all be nervous wrecks.''
''We'd all like to get it over and done with but this is one of the great dramas of sport.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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