Wakatipu pitch for cup defence
Plans are afoot to host an America’s Cup title defence in Queenstown.
The idea was originally mooted last year by America’s Cup Event Authority chief executive Sir Russell Coutts, who has a home on the Crown Range near Queenstown.
The Park Street Yacht Club has proposed to hold the race in Lake Wakatipu, with a course map showing the race finishing in front of Sunshine Bay and the cup village situated in Kelvin Heights.
A map key shows where spectators could view the race, where super yachts could moor and where VIPs could sip cocktails and take in the scenery.
A post on the club’s Facebook page says the course plan takes into consideration maximum public visibility, sponsorship opportunities and historic wind pattern algorithms.
It also says the plan was created following extensive consultation with international yachting consultants, potential sponsors and the wider Queenstown community.
The Wakatipu Yacht Club is the only Yachting New Zealandaffiliated club in Queenstown.
The Park Street Yacht Club commodore, who only wanted to be known as ‘‘Jolly Roger’’, said although the proposal was ‘‘a pipe dream’’ and a bit ‘‘tongue-incheek’’, Queenstown shouldn’t be ruled out from hosting some leadup events to the 36th America’s Cup, including the youth regatta.
‘‘I think it’s really important that we use this to showcase ... and embrace regional centres,’’ Roger said.
‘‘Really what we’re doing is we’re just putting our hand up and saying come on guys, lets just not have it in Auckland.
‘‘Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have some of our young [sailors] on Lake Wakatipu?’’
Since the race map was posted, the page had had over 20,000 views, he said.
Hosting this latest America’s Cup in Bermuda was Oracle ‘‘lifting the game’’ and it was now New Zealand’s turn to do the same, Roger said.
‘‘Yes it’s probably impractical to have it on Wakatipu ... [but] yes we’re serious about seeing some of it [in Queenstown].’’
The plans follow Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup win over Oracle in Bermuda, which was celebrated with a parade in Auckland on Thursday.
Other parades were being organised for regional cities from this week.