Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Go the black boats!

A bit bigger than our ol’ kayaks, but the opening fleet race of the Louis Vuitton Cup, which is the beginning of the countdown to the America’s Cup – started today off Valencia.

And this Kiwi is wrapped!

Those with long memories may remember NZ’s heartache when we lost the cup in 2003 to the Swiss boat, Alinghi, skippered by Kiwi Russell Coutts, who had been the winning skipper on the Kiwi boats that successfully defended the cup in 2000, and had wrested the Cup from America in 1995, in San Diego.

Folks back home were pretty upset that Coutts had bailed out on his own country – Dave Dobbyn’s hit song, Loyal, was almost the NZ national anthem – but the Black Magic crew was not prepared, and multiple gear failures played out to the ultimate failure, losing all the final races to the Swiss. How could anyone forget Black Magic’s cockpit filling up with water and being bailed out with a bucket! We wept.

So the eyes of New Zealand, and many other yachties around the world, are watching with bated breath as the countdown to the America’s Cup now plays out.

But if going by the great new artwork on Team NZ’s new black boats' keels – the ubiquitous Buzzy Bee and the NZ flag – we are good to go!

* Both photos by Chris Cameron.

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