Emirates Team New Zealand are "ready to win" the America's Cup and come home and celebrate, according to a Marlborough entrepreneur whose brother is crewing on the Kiwi boat.
Clive Macfarlane, of Kekerengu, said yesterday he has been catching up with his brother Winston Macfarlane via Skype almost every day since the 34th America's Cup regatta began in San Francisco in the United States.
Clive said his 36-year-old brother, who is a grinder for Team New Zealand, was certain the trophy would return to New Zealand for the third time in 18 years.
"The team is feeling pretty confident they will be successful, but it has probably gone on a lot longer than anyone ever expected," he said.
"They are very ready to win and come home and celebrate."
The team were finding the new AC72 multi-hulled boats "harder and faster" compared to the 2007 campaign, he said.
"The competition is a lot harder than ever before, the boats are twice as hard to sail and the team is a lot fitter and stronger than they were in 2007."
Winston Macfarlane has been on the New Zealand team since the 2003 America's Cup, when they defended it in the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland, and lost it to the Spanish team Alinghi.
Since 2007, Winston had raced in the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas and was also a member of the winning TP52 team in both 2009 and 2010.
The brothers learned to sail in the Marlborough Sounds from a young age, and Winston moved to Auckland in 2000 to pursue his dream of representing Team New Zealand.
On the Emirates Team New Zealand website, Winston said he had some fond memories of sailing in the Marlborough Sounds.
"I grew up there, it's where I learned to sail with my uncles and friends of the family. I still spend every summer there, because it's where my family still lives. I love Blackwood Bay in Queen Charlotte Sound - the New Year's Day regatta there is always a huge day."
The brothers' parents, Sue and Richard Macfarlane, who own the the Store at Kekerengu, south of Blenheim, are in San Francisco to support their son, who occasionally takes the place of the team's managing director Grant Dalton on the boat.
Clive said his parents were "loving every minute" of the event.
"They are having a great time, there are lots of Kiwis over there . . . the support for New Zealand is huge."
- © Fairfax NZ News