The Toyota Believe Regional Tour of New Zealand with the America’s Cup drew to a close today after a busy 12 days travelling the length of the country taking the America’s Cup to as many New Zealanders as possible in the allowable time
The tour had 19 official stops at yacht clubs and communities from Taipa in the North, to Napier in the East, Greymouth and Lake Brunner in the west and Bluff in the South.
Among the scheduled stops there were many unscheduled pit stops along the way to surprise everyday kiwi’s with an opportunity to see, touch and have a photo with the oldest trophy in international sport.
Emirates Team New Zealand’s Richard Meacham who lead the tour throughout reflected on the special occasion the two weeks were: “This has really been an amazing and humbling experience to meet so many great New Zealanders, all of who experienced the emotion of our own journey to redemption in Bermuda.”
“They are all part of this team and their support is what motivates us to do the best we possibly can each day we go to work to win the America’s Cup.”
While reflecting on the victory of Bermuda throughout the tour, many of the people’s interest and excitement has already turned to the prospect of defending the America’s Cup in Auckland in 2021.
“It was really encouraging to feel the support and really get a first hand sense of the excitement that exists in the regions around the opportunity the country has with hosting the next America’s Cup here in Auckland. The number of stories of people who have already organised a bed or couch at friends or families houses in early 2021 in Auckland was just great.”
The main objective of the tour was to attract young kids to the local yacht clubs to give sailing a go.
“We certainly saw plenty of people come through the 16 yacht clubs we visited, and hopefully introduced the next generation of star sailors to the sport. Maybe we will see how successful we were in about 15- 20 years time.” concluded Meacham.
The tour was organised by the Royal New Zealand yacht Squadron in association with Toyota New Zealand