Hundreds of people lined up to have a photo taken with the America’s Cup.
Hundreds of people of all ages poured into Gulf Harbour Yacht Club on Friday, September 22, to get a close up look at the America’s Cup trophy.
The invitation to view the Cup went out to local schools, and the community (HM September 20) and was a chance to show off the club’s facilities as part a membership drive.
There was an air of expectancy similar to a wedding party waiting for the bride to arrive and just like a bride, the Cup was fashionably late after a couple of “technical issues” including one related to security systems and one to the vehicle transporting it from the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron’s headquarters in Auckland.
The Cup arrived in the boot of Yacht Squadron general manager Hayden Porter’s car – a bit of a come down for a piece of silverware that flies first class – and received a warm reception.
The queue stretched out the yacht club’s doors and down the road as people took it in turn to have photos taken with the Cup: organisers estimate that as many as 1000 people attended the event.
The solid silver cup, which is 1.1m tall and weighs over 14kg, is 169 years old – it was made in 1848 by Garrards silversmiths of London and repaired by the same company in 1997 after it was damaged by a Maori activist.
The Cup’s visit to Gulf Harbour Yacht Club was in recognition of the special relationship between the Yacht Squadron and the club. The America’s Cup begins its official tour around the country this month.
The America’s Cup arrived in the boot of Royal NZ Yacht Squadron general manager Hayden Porter’s car.
Jeremy Woodward arrived an hour early to see the cup and was first in line to have his photo taken.
The task of keeping the protective case spick and span fell to Royal NZ Yacht Squadron staff member Cooper Hopman.
Gulf Harbour Yacht Club’s new commodore, John Butcher, helps bring the Cup into the clubrooms.
New commodore targets membership growth
Gulf Harbour Yacht Club’s new commodore, John Butcher, says his number one priority is to raise the profile of the club. Currently membership is 160 and John wants to increase that as much as possible, especially focusing on bringing in younger sailors. John was part of the early discussions with Yachting NZ about the proposal to bring a high performance sailing academy to Gulf Harbour. He says he would like the club to be “a key enabler of the future national sailing academy”, which he sees as a great opportunity for the club to raise its profile and grow. He said in the lead up to the visit from the America’s Cup trophy, there was a noticeable rise in club spirit. “I would like the club to maintain that momentum and take it forward,” he says.