Water welcome for America's Cup in Picton

Picton is ready to give the Emirates Team NZ lads a parade like no other.
SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

Picton is ready to give the Emirates Team NZ lads a parade like no other.

Picton is set to turn on the style for the America's Cup parade.

A flotilla of boats is set to welcome the holders of the 'Auld Mug' on the water as they approach Picton on the ferry. 

Local hero Joseph Sullivan will return home this time with sailing silver(ware) instead of rowing gold after his 2012 triumph at the London Olympics.

Long-time family friend, and Queen Charlotte Yacht club member, Rob Burn said seeing Sullivan bring home the America's Cup on Thursday would be extra special.

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"We were very proud of Joe when he brought the gold, now he's come back with the silver. And being a sailor I'm more interested in that than the rowing," Burn said.

A lot of boats were expected on the water for the Emirates Team New Zealand lads coming in on the Interislander ferry, with safety a top priority for organisers. 

Coastguard Marlborough president Jan Bisman hoped boaties would keep their distance from the ferry. 

"We've got to ensure whatever boats that are out there keep out of the way of the ferries, that's our biggest concern," he said.

Bisman was also keen to remind everyone to wear lifejackets. 

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"Make sure you wear your lifejackets, carry them and wear them," he said. 

Rob Burn also reminded those out on the water to keep good lines of communication and stay on channel 18.

"The communication is the key, as long as everybody knows what channel to be on like, for instance, our yacht club is on channel 77 but when we do big events we monitor channel 18 now," he said. 

Members of the public could join the flotilla for a small fee, with all proceeds going to the Queen Charlotte Yacht Club, Burn said.

"The big thing for us is that all the proceeds they collect from the money is going to the Queen Charlotte rebuild fund," he said. 

Marlborough Sounds Marinas, who was co-ordinating the event with the Marlborough District Council and Coastguard Marlborough, said recreational boaties would meet at Picton Marina and head out to Wedge Point about 5pm.

Emirates Team New Zealand was set to arrive on an Interislander ferry at 6pm for a parade though town.

They would get a police escort when they arrived off the ferry to the starting point of the parade outside the Picton police station.

 - The Marlborough Express

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