A Lake Wanaka Tourism-sponsored boat heads Oracle Team USA
during a supporting race for the 2013 America's Cup. Photo
by Garrick Cameron/studio5.co.nz.
Lake Wanaka Tourism found a new and effective way to
market itself to the world last week by backing a boat racing
on San Francisco Bay in an America's Cup supporting event.
The Lake Wanaka boat was competing in the Nespresso 18-foot
International Skiff Regatta and bore the blue and orange
colours of Lake Wanaka Tourism on its mainsheet and
Skipper Kez Cameron, who has family connections to Wanaka,
was joined by Stephen Jones (mainsheet), who works for Air
New Zealand, and 16-year-old Tim Snedden (bowman), a member
of the Mahurangi College sailing squad that will represent
New Zealand at the 2013 Interdominion Regatta in Australia
Lake Wanaka Tourism general manager and self-styled ''Admiral
of the Fleet'' James Helmore said it was an easy decision to
support the crew.
''Covering entry fees and adding the Lake Wanaka brand to the
skiff's sails was a no-brainer, considering the global
exposure we'll enjoy during the world's premier festival of
yachting and at other regattas afterwards on both sides of
''We've been receiving some awesome photos back from Kez's
photographer brother, Garrick, who's out there showing
national and family support.
"He's usually captured Lake Wanaka ahead of Oracle when both
classes have been out on the water at the same time, so it's
great to see another Kiwi boat in front, especially with its
Lake Wanaka-branded mainsail trimmed perfectly.''
During race eight of the America's Cup, when New Zealand's
boat nearly capsized, the big screen in the America's Cup
Village had cut to a shot of the Lake Wanaka boat with its
spinnaker up, Mr Helmore said.
He was confident Emirates Team New Zealand would achieve
victory and joked he would be putting in a bid to host the
''You never know, we've got the open water, wind and plenty
of room to watch the action. I hear Wanaka Yacht Club is
already extending the marina and organising a sausage
The Lake Wanaka boat was vying for the Mark Foy Trophy -
named after the Australian businessman who successfully
introduced 18-foot sailboat racing to a spectator audience in
the late 19th century - against other crews from New Zealand,
as well as Australia, the US, Denmark, Germany and Great
The last of the scheduled races was held on Sunday and, while
Mr Helmore understood the Lake Wanaka boat had finished in
the mid-to-late field, he was not concerned with the results.
''For us, it's more about building more awareness of the Lake
Wanaka region as a destination.''
The 18-foot skiff class is regarded as an excellent grounding
for high-speed racing such as the America's Cup, the Clipper
Round the World and the Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the
Whitbread Round the World Race).
Team New Zealand managing director and seven-time
round-the-world racer Grant Dalton is an experienced 18-foot