Big Bay Area welcome for Team New Zealand

Last updated 05:00 06/07/2013
Team New Zealand
Getty Images

Members of Team New Zealand are showered with confetti during the opening ceremony for the America's Cup in San Francisco.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Kiwi cyclist Roulston targets track gold at Rio, then retirement Sad end as anti-racism AFL star Adam Goodes asked not to be considered for player award Black Sticks men to face Australian team without several key names at Oceania Cup Kiwi squash player Joelle King goes down in Carol Weymuller Open final in New York Hayne to face star Aussie punter in next NFL game Pressure mounts as New Zealand eventers look to qualify for Rio Olympics New Zealand sailor Dean Barker wins world title as tactician with Russian team in RC44 class Shane Cameron predicts rising boxing star Joseph Parker to beat veteran Kali Meehan Patrick Mailata first Kiwi boxer up at world champs Jarryd Hayne explains fumbled punt return

Team New Zealand claimed bragging rights as the America's Cup was officially opened in San Francisco yesterday.

The ceremony on the city's spectacular foreshore was full of typical American fanfare - plenty of red, white and blue, lots of speeches and no shortage of ticker tape.

The teams were introduced on stage separately and the Kiwis reckoned they got the biggest cheer "by far", helped by the performance by Maori cultural group Te Waka Huia.

A large crowd, including a fair smattering of New Zealanders, turned out for the festivities that coincided with Independence Day in the US.

Dean Barker won them over with some brief words on stage. Asked how the famous San Francisco Bay compared to the Hauraki Gulf, he smiled: "It's very, very close second. There's no place like home. But San Francisco Bay is spectacular."

The Kiwis proved popular at the autograph sessions.

"San Francisco has turned it on, there are thousands of people here. We can feel the vibe, we know it's on," Team New Zealand grinder Winston Macfarlane said.

Representatives from the United States Coast Guard's Colour Guard and the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps ushered in the American flag and the flags of Italy, New Zealand and Sweden.

The day was a chance for the four syndicates and regatta director Iain Murray to put aside their differences.

The cup ceremony featured a touching tribute to Artemis racing crew member Andrew Simpson who lost his life in a training accident by the Swedish syndicate in May.

That tragedy has cast a shadow on the event and the resulting safety recommendations that have been rushed through by Murray have split the syndicates on a couple of key issues.

Team New Zealand and Italy's Luna Rossa have protested moves to allow design changes on the eve of the event.

They argue the increased size of rudder elevators are a pe4rformance issue rather than a safety one.

Their protests are to be head by the International Jury on Tuesday - a day after the two challengers square off in the opening race of the regatta.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content