The crew members of New Zealand's Black Magic celebrate as
they cross the finish line in the waters off San Diego,
capturing the America's Cup for the first time in the
144-year history of the event. Photo from AP.
New Zealand's defence of the America's Cup in 1999-2000
could revitalise the greatest prize in yachting.
"We should have a fantastic yachting regatta at the start of
the new century," Team New Zealand chief Peter Blake said
after his dominant 1995 campaign for the Auld Mug ended
yesterday with a 5-nil win.
Dennis Conner, who lost the cup overseas for a second time
said: "I'm guardedly optimistic we're entering a new dawn of
the America's Cup. With the enthusiasm of the New Zealand
people, I think they'll breathe some new fresh air into the
San Diego-based New Zealander Kingsley McLaren said New
Zealand's participation in the cup had raised New Zealand's
profile in the US and would boost tourism and exports.
San Diego (May 16). - After a rollicking all-night party, the
only sound at the Team New Zealand compound in San Diego
yesterday was the non-stop whirr of fax machines.
Since Sunday's triumphant end to their America's Cup yachting
campaign, the team has been inundated with faxes from around
Most of the messages have come from mainland New Zealand, but
others have arrived from places as diverse as Uruguay, the
British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Italy, Vanuatu, Australia
and the Chatham Islands.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip yesterday publicly
congratulated Team New Zealand.
"Prince Philip and I were delighted to learn of Black Magic's
success in the America's Cup," she said in a statement
released by Buckingham Palace.
"Please pass on our warm congratulations to Peter Blake,
Russell Coutts and the crew."
Auckland (May 25). - As yachting hero Peter Blake said, it
was a "most stupendous, fantastic, terrific, marvellous"
welcome as Auckland hosted the biggest party in the country's
history for New Zealand's America's Cup winners yesterday.
More than 300,000 people flocked to the central city to
welcome home Team New Zealand and the "Auld Mug".
With parking restrictions in place by 5am, many had come by
public transport or arrived early, filling up the city's car
parking buildings well before 9am.
The anticipation, excitement and jubilation was not dampened
by a late start to the parade as thousands of people,
clutching paper flags and cardboard red socks, lined Queen
St, climbed rooftops and bus shelters hours before the
parade's scheduled 12.30pm start.
By 11am, the streets were already strewn with multi-coloured
ticker tape, 300,000 rolls of which were brought in
especially for the parade.
By the time the parade reached upper Queen St shortly before
1pm, and the first of the Team New Zealand crew came into
view, the atmosphere had reached fever pitch.
The jubilation continued as Team NZ skipper Russell Coutts
and Blake carried the Auld Mug up the stairs to the front of
the Aotea Centre to the strains of the official Team New
The pair, flanked by Team New Zealand crew, stood in front of
the crowd filling Aotea Square as Auckland soprano Fiona
Ferens led the crowd singing the national anthem, followed by
a Maori welcome from Sir Hugh Kawharu.
Auckland Mayor Les Mills thanked Team New Zealand on behalf
of the rest of the country for bringing the cup to New
Blake told the crowd "thank you very much for this most
stupendous, fantastic, terrific, marvellous New Zealand
welcome here today. We have never seen anything like it