Picton puts on a show for America's Cup heroes
Picton put on a show for the America's Cup parade and the town was rewarded with a chance to get up close to the giant silver trophy.
As thousands of people lined up the streets of Picton to welcome their sailing heroes, a last-minute decision was made by none other than local hero Joseph Sullivan to walk the parade instead of standing and waving on the back of a ute.
It was a decision that caused the parade to be much longer than planned, but it gave Marlburians a chance to get up and close to the "Auld Mug".
Emirates Team New Zealand members manouevred their way through a maze of people, stopped for photos, chats and even gave opportunities for the crowd to touch the trophy.
Picton native and Team New Zealand member Joseph Sullivan, was thrilled with the turnout, which was far greater than expected.
"This is pretty special, we've got pretty much all of Picton out here today, I expected a few people but this is just astounding," Sullivan said.
He also reflected on the pride to have represented his hometown.
"It's really special to have everyone here and be able to represent not only New Zealand but Picton, it's incredible," Sullivan said.
The parade was months in the making and Picton Smart and Connected's Chrissy Powlesland,who played a key role in bringing the team to town, was beaming with excitement.
"It's really amazing, we've had such a fantastic day and what a fantastic turnout, I think Picton's population has probably doubled today," Powlesland said.
She also said the event was better than expected.
"I would have to say it's better than I ever imagined it would be, the weather has really turned it on, the guys have been amazing, they have just stopped and talked to people," Powlesland said.
One of the many who attended was one of Joseph Sullivan's former teachers.
It was a proud moment for Alistair Boyce, who was the deputy principal at the time Sullivan attended Queen Charlotte College.
"[I'm] so proud of him, it's great to see all the other team members here, it was really marvellous," Boyce said.
"It's great, he has always been a man of great determination, resilience and very very modest," Boyce said.
Team New Zealand are on a tour of the country, to show the America's Cup trophy to all regions of New Zealand.
Their next stop will be Lake Brunner yacht club on Friday, October 13.
- The Marlborough Express