Martin Devlin: Govt must allow Aucklanders to pack out viaduct for America's Cup

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Thu, 11 Mar 2021, 1:34PM

Martin Devlin: Govt must allow Aucklanders to pack out viaduct for America's Cup

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Thu, 11 Mar 2021, 1:34PM

Game on! One all after the first two races and everything to play for between us & them, TNZ & Luna Rossa. And c'mon, who isn't just the slightest bit concerned after "they" comfortably won that second race.

I was very fortunate to be out on the  water yesterday aboard a TNZ chase boat, listening intently to those that do have the expert knowledge, and the expert eyes were saying that downwind we have an edge but upwind looking very very even. Now whether or not this translates to what we see tomorrow, again, who really knows? And isn't that the greatest thing about ALL sport?

We want a close contest don't we? I mean don't we? Of course I'll be immediately changing my tune if by Saturday we're suddenly 3-1 down. But right now it could not be more perfectly poised. The other thing needed is for the government to give us our lives back and shift Auckland back to level 1 pronto.

Hopefully this happens tomorrow. The viaduct needs to be packed with people this weekend. Not just for the business owners doing it very tough down there but for the international image we want to project to the world that NZ is calm, in control, back to normal and open for renewed economic activity. It's difficult to convey to anyone outside of Auckland the sense of excitement, anticipation and fun that emanates from the waterfront during racing. It's just a happy good-vibes place to be. And ultimately isn't that the whole point of this event?

Us, and yes I do include myself in this, Kiwi sports fans tend to regard rugby and the AC as pretty much fait accompli. We turn up, we win. But not so. Yesterday Luna Rossa emphatically told us to take nothing for  granted. Perfect timing perhaps? Maybe just the warning we also need to heed.