Dunedin team's long-shot Emmy win 'unreal'

DEBBIE JAMIESON IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 08/05/2014
 Stu Sharpe, Nathan Martin and John Rendall

APP THERE: Stu Sharpe, Nathan Martin and John Rendall, with the Emmy they claimed for developing the official America’s Cup app, in New York yesterday.

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Yesterday's Emmy win for the small team behind the official America's Cup app is a win for regional New Zealand, Animation Research chief executive Ian Taylor says.

Ecstatic project manager John Rendall, Queenstown app designer Stu Sharpe and Dunedin-based Nathan Martin were in New York to collect the award at the Sports Emmys.

Sharpe and Martin worked with the Animation Research team, also in Dunedin, to develop the official America's Cup mobile app as it became clear one would be needed for the 2013 event, Taylor said.

"We'd never done one, so we looked around and found Stu in Queenstown and Nathan in Dunedin and the guys who work on android operations in Oamaru.

"It's an incredible example of how Kiwis can work. Silicon Valley has a point but we have a hi-tech hub already - it's called New Zealand."

It was the way of the future for regional New Zealand, he said.

"We were able to take a couple of small operations under ours, and we aren't big, imagine what happens when the rest of New Zealand starts working like this."

It also took confidence and innovation to start the project without being asked by the company whose business motto is: "bugger the boxing, pour the concrete anyway."

The app was one of five America's Cup nominations for an Emmy - four of which were New Zealand based - and the only one to win.

In New York the excited team put in a call to The Southland Times. Sharpe said the moment they were announced as winners was unreal.

"It was such a long shot to be nominated. The win is insane."

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill accepted the award on behalf of the America's Cup team, giving a speech about the difference between the first America's Cup results being delivered by courier pigeon and the immediacy of the 2013 coverage.

Invercargill-born Martin said standing on the stage before the top television producers and technical people was surreal.

The team were planning on topping the evening off with a few beverages, while champagne had been ordered into the Dunedin offices, Taylor said.

"It was more important they went. They're the guys who did it. I'll get to hold it when they bring it back."

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