Celebrating The America’s Cup at Tristram Marine!

(Article by www.stuff.co.nz)
“Youuuuu beauty.”

Elation, pride and excitment bounced off the walls of Hamilton boat builders Tristram Marine as Team NZ made yachting history on Tuesday morning.

But for the 20 minutes or so before the crew sailed over the finish line the room was riddled with anxiety.

Staff and family members nestled into couches set up at their Te Rapa headquarters for the 5am spectacle.

They braved the ice-cold darkness like thousands of others throughout the country.

Warming their fingers around steaming coffee cups, the 30-strong crowd had their eyes glued to the television from the 5.12am race start.

Team NZ needed just one win to take the first-to-seven challenge against Oracle.

“It’s the excitement and enjoyment of seeing New Zealand be so successful in such a large arena, with limited resources up against the rest of the world,” spectator Andrew Fink said.

“It just shows the true Kiwi culture and mentality – the support and everyone getting together to watch. It’s fantastic to see.”

The innovation and the speed of the boats was “leading edge” and a shorter, more exciting race format had garnered more support than other years.

At that moment sailing was more popular than rugby.

“2013 was the last time we were all sitting here doing this – it’s a long time between drinks and it wets people’s appetite.”

But the drinks wouldn’t be flowing until the Kiwi’s boat was firmly over the line. The ghosts of 2013’s devastating loss was still raw in everyone’s minds.

“There’s no doubt over the last few days Kiwis go back to San Fran but this was a different regatta and the teams were a lot more even, which brought it down to teamwork,” Tristram general manager Kingsley Fink said.

“Pedal power and the foils were pretty powerful for Team NZ.”

“Thirty knots – yehoo,” came another yell as Team NZ approached the fourth gate, edging a 35 second lead.

“It’s still anybody’s race,” came a yell from the back.

No-one was counting their chickens.

Brothers Zane, 7, and Jac, 9, were excited to watch the race.

“It’s all they have been talking about at school,” mum Sheree Williamson said.

When Team NZ crossed the finish line, floating into the history books and claiming a win that will see the Auld Mug brought back to NZ, the crowd roared.

Cheers and claps erupted as the crowd jumped to their feet.

“How proud are we of that boat floating in the water – well done boys,” Kingsley Fink said.

Even the dog was barking.

“This regatta was Peter Burling and the boys turn to take it out,” he said as the wine flowed in celebration at 5.45am.

“It’s been pretty hard on the heart over the last month but to see it finish the right way is pretty cool.”

Fink was travelling to Larry Ellison’s business in Whangarei on Tuesday where they build 50 per cent of the boats that race. Bringing the cup back to the viaduct would bolster the country’s economy, and the marine industry.

“New Zealander’s are so passionate about being on the water so I think that’s why everyone loves watching it.”