Home­town show for cup hero

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - ANAN ZAKI

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 the streets of Pic­ton on Thurs­day evening 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 ma­noeu­vred 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 Con- nected’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.

‘‘The weather has re­ally turned it on, the guys have been amaz­ing.’’

Team NZ are on tour, show­ing the Amer­ica’s Cup tro­phy to all re­gions of New Zealand.

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