Picton plays party planner for America's Cup welcome

Joseph Sullivan's rowing coach Dave Bugler, left, with Joseph's parents Mike and Elaine Sullivan toast to the America's ...
RICKY WILSON/STUFF

Joseph Sullivan's rowing coach Dave Bugler, left, with Joseph's parents Mike and Elaine Sullivan toast to the America's Cup victory in June. (File photo)

Mark the date: the world's oldest sporting trophy is coming to Marlborough on October 12.

It has been confirmed that Picton will enjoy an overnight tour of the Auld Mug with a parade, foreshore reception and evening event.

Picton's own Joseph Sullivan, a cyclor with Team NZ, will attend,  along with fellow cyclor Andy Malloney and representatives from team management.

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Waikawa Boating Club rear commodore sailing Anna Gibbs said confirmation of the visit was an exciting step.

"You hope and you wonder if it will come, but it's really cool that it is actually happening," she said.

Team New Zealand crewman Joseph Sullivan, of Picton, celebrates a victory in the America's Cup. (File photo)
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Team New Zealand crewman Joseph Sullivan, of Picton, celebrates a victory in the America's Cup. (File photo)

"I think the kids will be completely surprised at how big the trophy is. It will be an amazing thing for them to see the world's oldest sporting trophy."

Facebook group Bring ETNZ to Picton had attracted more than 400 members in an effort to bring the cup south following the America's Cup victory in June.

The Team NZ representatives would catch the ferry from Wellington and arrive in the Marlborough port town about 6pm.

Waikawa Boating Club rear commodore sailing Anna Gibbs with the Auld Mug in Wellington last month.
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Waikawa Boating Club rear commodore sailing Anna Gibbs with the Auld Mug in Wellington last month.

A street parade would start from Waitohi Domain, through the Main St and onto the foreshore, Gibbs said.

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The sailors would receive a greeting from the mayor and then give speeches to the public.

The Waikawa Boating Club would host a members-only event in the evening, with $10 entry going toward the restoration of the Queen Charlotte Yacht Club.

The public parade would be a great opportunity for the children of the town to see the sailors up close, Gibbs said.

"It gives them the chance to see Joe, who grew up here. It shows them what you can achieve," she said.

"I think it is a really good thing for our young people to see."

The Queen Charlotte Yacht Club would host a private breakfast for the team before they departed for the West Coast and later Kaikoura, Gibbs said.​

 - The Marlborough Express

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