It doesn’t bother me at all that the America’s Cup takes place in Barcelona.
I can’t even imagine how difficult it is to organize and finance an event like this – and I take my hat off to all those who work so hard to maintain it and to find venues – this is not an easy task. Securing this location took a year, that’s no small feat.
But also – can we really complain that it is heading offshore? I mean, look what they were offered to stay here.
Auckland council gave them cash in kind – it’s not real money, the government clearly wasn’t interested in him being here, so gave them a pittance .
If the powers that be really wanted it here, they would have coped with more money and made it easier.
But they didn’t.
Many of those moaning about him going overseas are punters who like the idea of him being here, but aren’t committing to it anyway.
Often these are the same people who lament this all as a sport of rich white men, the ones who insist that wealthy sailing teams shouldn’t get our money… they don’t deserve government funding blah blah blah, and then those same people bleat like crazy when it goes offshore.
I’m not talking about the real sailing fans here – they’ve proven they’ll go anywhere to support it, and there really is a phenomenal support base for Team NZ, who manage to go anywhere anywhere in the world and fly the Kiwi Flag. We saw it with our own eyes in San Francisco when we got the chance to go stream from there in 2017.
The Kiwis showed up in droves, the organization of fan bases and support areas was smooth and well managed. The event had a great atmosphere, thousands of people turned out and many managed to get out on the water.
The views were great – which is a big part of that of course – and it was a really fun experience. Would recommend to anyone who loves sailing or anyone who wants to support New Zealand sport in a really fun, family friendly and relaxed way.
And Team NZ are incredibly popular wherever they go – there’s just something about the Kiwi sports stars that people seem to gravitate to and adore. They are relaxed, accessible, happy to chat, they are great defenders of our country. What more could you want?
Barcelona is talked about for the great sailing weather – which is also a huge factor – endless race days delayed by the lack of wind are no fun for anyone. But despite the naysayers who will come for Grant Dalton and who will come for Team New Zealand as if they somehow own them – or the event – I’m glad they found a great place to to welcome.
And I have no doubt that it will be a huge success. with that.
Because it’s the other thing, despite all the argy bargy out of the water leading up to the event, we all still seem to be behind it once the races start.
So poop now if you want, but remember my words, come to 2024, Barcelona beach, race village, Spanish waterfront… it will be spectacular, and the place to be.