An event for a sailing homeland
The victory of Emirates Team New-Zealand's flying catamaran in the 35th America's Cup was a collective joy for the New Zealanders. In a country where sailing is a national sport, the return of the silver ewer is an event, as Grant Dalton, responsible for the kiwi challenge after the last regatta, explained. "We probably don't realize how important it is there in New Zealand. I was told there were traffic jams at 4:00 in the morning to go see the races at work!"
Peter Busfield, director of the NZ Marine Industry, the national federation of marine industries, told our colleagues at NZ.educationhq.com:"I was such a proud kiwi. What moved me was the way Grant Dalton took the cup. You could imagine the days and nights he spent chasing after his dream for the last 8 years, from the depths of San Francisco to finally get up after that."
A gain of image
Peter Busfield sees this victory as a great publicity for the New Zealand boating industry. "It's huge for our industry, very inspiring. The image and credibility of New Zealand design, personnel and equipment around the world will be greatly enhanced." Indeed, the American boat had been built by Core Builders and Team NZ by Southern Spars, both installed in New Zealand, as many suppliers of fittings and various equipment.
As Peter Busfield recalls, Peter Blake's first New Zealand victory in 1995 had"opened the door" to make the country more attractive, notably with the creation of the port of Via-duct Harbour. "We must take advantage of this opportunity to make New Zealand even more attractive to international visitors, as well as those of us who call it home
More training, more boats, more practitioners
To date, there are 420 apprentices in the country, within 190 nautical companies. Victory in the America's Cup should attract new ones, says Busfield. He also expects more registration in sailing clubs, which should translate into more boat sales.