The America's Cup
Written by Cathy Siegismund
Ken and I had about a week on the boat by ourselves. We cleaned up, did
laundry and a few boat projects. After some great trekking around Queenstown,
John flew back into Auckland. He had about a week before he flew back to
Seattle. We decided to head out and do a couple days of sailing around the
Hauraki Gulf. We headed out for 3 days. We got a late start, as we hadn't been
out further than the fuel dock in about 15 months, and dropped the hook near
Layla who had also gone out for a couple of days. We spent the night anchored
off Rakino Channel. The next morning we had breakfast with Layla, and then
headed over to Waiheke Island. Waiheke is a large island near Auckland and
serviced by several ferries. It is home to some local wineries, lovely homes,
swanky B&Bs, and many bays and beaches to explore. We dropped the book for a
couple of nights in a well protected bay. Our second day on Waiheke we rented
scooters and explored the island including lunch at one of the local wineries.
Riding scooters that came with enormously large helmets around Waiheke Island
After two days in Waiheke, we returned to Auckland. John wanted to work on
getting his paragliding license, and we of course wanted to be back to meet our
friends Jason and Tam who where coming over to Auckland from Australia for a
We happed to return to Auckland on one of the days of the
New Zealand Millennium
Cup, a superyacht regatta held on the Hauraki Gulf between the end of the
Louis Vuitton Cup and the beginning of the America's Cup. The mega yachts have
been congregating in Auckland over the last year. We had seen them tied up in
the viaduct harbour, but it was really something to see these enormous yachts
out on the water.
Superyachts in the 2003 New Zealand Millennium Cup
Back in Auckland, the city was gearing up for the
America's Cup. Not
only were we looking forward to watching Team New Zealand and Alinghi compete
for the Cup, but we also were looking forward to seeing some cruising friends we
hadn't seen in a while. Jason and Tam from Rainsong were in Auckland for a week
and Ed and Rachel from Horai were going to be in town for a few days as well.
February 15th was the first day of the America's Cup. After spending so much
time on the water during the Louis Vuitton Cup, we decided we'd watch from
Auckland's Viaduct Harbour. The bar/restaurant of choice was the Loaded Hog. The
Hog provides a view of the viaduct where the boats can be seen leaving and
returning to their bases. The hog also of course has food, beverages, big screen
TVs and an electric atmosphere.
Jason, John, Ken, and Tam saving a table at the Loaded Hog
Drew and Vernita
February 15 was the start of the America's Cup, but it was also John's last day
in Auckland. The first race of the America's Cup started out looking like it was
going to be great. The day was perfect and the boats appeared to be fairly
evenly matched. However, soon everything turned to custard as they say down
here. Though the wind was not that strong there were some choppy seas, and a lot
of water was coming aboard the Team New Zealand boat. Soon they had a crew
member bailing with a large blue bucket - which we later found out was the
crew's toilet! Apparently, the extra weight from all the water onboard then
caused the failure of the boom - then end of the carbon fiber boom shattered.
The Kiwi's were still putting up a fight, and jerry-rigged the end of the boom.
A few minutes later, the Kiwi's were forced out of the race when their head sail
blew out, they raised another and the same thing happened. That was it; the race
was over for Team New Zealand on the fist leg. We felt very sorry for them. The
people in Viaduct still gave a huge show of support when the broken boat was
towed back to base.
John at the Hog
We sadly said goodbye to John - our most frequent visitor to date, a 3-peat -
who flew back to Seattle that evening.
The following day, we thought we'd give the Loaded Hog a another try for the
second race of the America's Cup. We all grabbed a table in front of the big
screen. The weather was perfect and we were all rewarded with an awesome race
between Team New Zealand and Alinghi; this was probably the best race of the
series. Both Alinghi and New Zealand took turns in the lead, with Alinghi
squeaking by with a 7 second win.
Ed & Rachel from Horai, currently in Australia, visiting Auckland for the
The electric atmosphere at the Loaded Hog during race 2 of the America's Cup
Race 3 of the America's cup was won by Alinghi who was completely controlled the
entire race. Alinghi had been just about flawless in their sailing, and tactics
through the Louis Vuitton Cup and it appeared that this would continue in the
America's Cup. The fickle weather in the Hauraki Gulf then began to reap havoc
with the Cup racing schedule. One day the race would be cancelled due to no
wind, and the next cancelled because of too much. The next two races would not
be held until we were again on the South Island, where we watched them on TV.