Wakatipu pitch for cup de­fence

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

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.

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