The America's Cup is STILL New Zealand's Cup. As those immortal words of PJ Montgomery re-rang around the viaduct basin last night the placed erupted with people yelling, cheering, singing, dancing, high fiving, hugging and generally going la-la.
The mood was one of pure euphoria, something I haven't seen or felt in Auckland since the RWC win in 2011. And I know how difficult it is to convince the rest of the country that this is somehow relevant to the whole of NZ, but it seemed (for a night anyway) that the collective mood captured us all.
It was nothing but silly dumb celebratory fun. Now whether the Cup stays in NZ and retains the same format or is eventually on-sold to somewhere in the northern hemisphere are questions for another day. As is the economic equation concerning how much the country has benefited from the tens of millions poured into the organising and running of this event. I for one never believe the press releases trumpeting pie-in-the-sky percentages of how much we're all so better off in now terms of job creation and tourism numbers.
It's all manipulated to sell whatever party line those in power are pushing. What I will say though is the transformation of Auckland's harbour side precinct is fantastic, the infrastructure at the viaduct something the city can be truly proud of and that is ENTIRELY to do with the America's Cup being held here, regained and retained since the first victory in 1995.
And yes, who isn't or hasn't been a bandwagon jumper all over the success of this event after the New Zealand team triumphs? Guilty as charged Your Honour!
But back to last night. It was just a whole big bunch of Kiwis being patriotic and proud of another bunch of Kiwis winning (to us) an important global sports event. As I said, just like the RWC in 2011 then. A really really good excuse to publicly party. And who would begrudge any of us being happy to be part of that?