America’s Cup racing was keenly watched in many homes on the Hibiscus Coast – but the interest was perhaps most intense in the home of Team New Zealand sailor Andy Maloney’s parents, in Arkles Bay.
Andy’s mother, Loretta, is a relieving teacher at two Whangaparaoa schools and followed her son’s progress by watching the races live on TV with friends in Arkles Bay as well as at Murray’s Bay Sailing Club and, for the last few races, at the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron. As she watched, friends in Bermuda sent her texts and photos to capture some of the atmosphere.
The family lives and breathes sailing and Andy, now 27, grew up on his parents’ 44ft yacht in Kerikeri. His first boat was an Optimist, which was kept on board. His father Jim gave sailing lessons to the local children, and is now a professional coach. Jim was in Europe during the America’s Cup and had to watch the final race in an airport in Germany. “I almost missed the plane, holding on to see them get over the line,” he says. Andy’s sister Alex is a champion sailor and won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics. Older brother Jimmy, also a keen sailor, is a police officer in Queenstown.
The whole family hopes to come together to celebrate when the victorious team returns this week with the Cup.
Loretta and Jim say it was amazing to see how calm and confident the whole team was, right from the start. “They left NZ with a quiet confidence, and built on that,” Jim says. “They are a young crew, but very experienced competitive sailors who thrive on the pressure of close racing.”
Loretta says that the team members grew up sailing against each other, which created a real respect and trust. “They are mates,” she says. “They’ve sailed since they were 10, 11 or 12 years old, saw each other every weekend at regattas, and later trained together for competitions such as the Youth America’s Cup.”
They were mentored along the way by sailors such as Team NZ skipper Glenn Ashby.
Innovation in design and boat building is a big part of America’s Cup racing – from the glass-reinforced plastic hull of KZ7, the Plastic Fantastic, in 1987 to today’s catamarans that lift out of the water and almost fly (or foil), powered by grinders on bikes (the cyclors).
Jim says one reason the team was able to change to the cyclors was bringing in young guys who weren’t traditional grinders.
Andy was one of the cyclors, and helped trim the foils with Blair Tuke during turning manoeuvres. Jim says along with the skill of helmsman Peter Burling, the cycling system was one of the keys to the team’s success. “It allowed four people to sail the catamaran, rather than two on competing boats, because the cyclors’ hands were free,” he says.
And was Loretta just a little disappointed that the team threw the Louis Vuitton sports bags, the contents of which are worth around $3000, into the crowd? “It was a lovely and very Kiwi gesture,” she says. “But I think Andy’s fiancée Kirsten would have liked that bag.”
Andy says he is “super excited” to bring the Cup back and share it with the country.
A celebratory parade to welcome the team and America’s Cup to NZ will be held in Auckland, on the waterfront this week, on July 6.
Hibiscus Coast resident, Sir Russell Coutts of Tindalls Bay, five-time winner of the America’s Cup, including three times as skipper, was quick to congratulate the New Zealanders in his role as chief executive of the America’s Cup’s organising body.
He said he knows how much the victory means to the team and the people of New Zealand.
Sir Russell has a strong connection with Manly Sailing Club, where he coaches young sailors. He is pictured, left, congratulating Team NZ’s Blair Tuke. Photo, Dennis Martins
Plan your travel to the America’s Cup parade
On Thursday at 12.30pm we get the chance to celebrate Emirates Team New Zealand’s amazing America’s Cup win.
The city centre will be very busy that day so if you are planning on going to the parade it’s important to travel early and the best way to get there is to take public transport, walk or cycle.
If you’re not going to the parade it may be best to avoid the city centre if possible and if you usually drive into the city centre this is a great opportunity to have a car-free day.
The champion team will head down Queen St from the Wakefield St intersection, then turn right on Customs St East, left down Gore St, left down Quay St past Queens Wharf, left up Lower Hobson St then right along Customs St West finishing up at the corner of Quay St and Lower Hobson St, at the entrance to the Viaduct Harbour.
After the parade through the streets the team will take to the water, going by boat around the Viaduct Basin, and past North Wharf, Princes Wharf and Queens Wharf.
Additional buses will run from Takapuna, Birkenhead, Howick, Botany, Panmure, Ellerslie, Mt Eden, Tamaki, Manakau and from Northern Express stations between 10am and 3pm.
Frequent services will be operating at least every 15 minutes along Dominion Road, Sandringham Road, New North Road and Great North Road.
As there will be changes to most bus stops in the city centre, AT ambassadors will be out helping people find their way around.
The City Link service will not be operating between 10am and 3pm.
Some bus travel details are still be finalised and will be available shortly.
There will be an extra 11,000 seats on trains heading to Britomart, which is right at the centre of the parade route.
Trains will be running six-car sets at a 20-minute frequency from 10am to 3pm, with the exception of the Onehunga Line.
There will be additional seating on ferries from Birkenhead, Bayswater, Half Moon Bay, Pine Harbour, West Harbour, Gulf Harbour and Hobsonville.
There will be an additional sailing from Hobsonville at 10am and an additional eight sailings on the Devonport service, with 15 minute frequencies up to 11.45am, then starting again from 3.30pm leaving the Downtown Ferry Terminal.
The ferries arrive at the Downtown Ferry Terminal which is on Quay St, part of the parade route.
Walking and cycling
This is a great opportunity to take advantage of all the new walking and cycling infrastructure in Auckland’s city centre such as the pink Lightpath.
Both the Nelson St Cycleway and the Quay St Cycleway are protected routes that lead directly to the parade.
There will be road closures along the parade route and some nearby streets beginning 9am and ending at around 3pm, except for Customs Street West and Market Place which will reopen at 5pm.
A full list of road closures can be found here: https://at.govt.nz/about-us/news-events/events-causing-delays/
Use the AT Mobile app or the Journey Planner to make sure you know the route you should take. https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/journey-planner/
All public transport is subject to standard fares.