Otago Yacht Club members Vern and Sue Hall, of Concord,
watch live television coverage of the America's Cup, eager
for racing to resume, at the clubrooms in Dunedin
yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Patience and positivity are keeping Dunedin yachting fans
afloat as they wake today anticipating New Zealand will win the
The bubbly remained in the fridge yesterday after racing was
postponed due to unfavourable wind conditions in San
Otago Yacht Club members Sue and Vern Hall, of Concord,
shrugged and smiled as they left the Ravensbourne clubrooms
for a third consecutive day without something to celebrate.
''You have to stay positive,'' they said.
This morning, they will again be among the faithful sharing
breakfast in front of the club's television.
About 50 people gathered inside the clubrooms on Saturday,
after about 35 turned up the previous morning.
Yesterday, only about a dozen sat in front of the screen
about 9.30am when racing was officially postponed.
Sailing enthusiasts started wandering into the clubrooms
before 8am, but some left when doubt was cast over the
suitability of San Francisco's weather.
Ann Jones was adamant her children did not lose sight of the
importance of the contest, despite the delays.
''I keep telling them this may not happen again in your
lifetime. You've got to soak it up. I'm a product of the 1995
big win and I didn't understand then that I should have got
into it more, and I wish I had now,'' she said.
Mrs Jones ran the club's sailing school and said when, not
if, New Zealand won the Cup, it would do wonders for the
The race had already bolstered interest among Dunedin's
youth, she said.
''Our learn-to-sail classes are full and we have people on
the waiting list. I think we'll see a massive positive
spin-off from this.''
Just as Sir Peter Blake - and even Sir Russell Coutts - were
the heroes of her generation, Dean Barker and his crew would
be the heroes of her children, she said.
''I was 15 when we won it [in 1995] and that fed us through
our teenage years. We were the sailing nation in our view.''