SIGHTS SET TOWARDS CITY OF SAILS
As the current global COVID-19 pandemic has seen two of the three America's Cup World Series regattas cancelled, America's Cup teams now have their sights firmly set on Auckland for what will be the only world series regatta for the 36th America's Cup.
Defender Emirates Team News New Zealand, INEOS Team U.K, Luna Rossa and New York Yacht Club American Magic were set to compete at the first of the world series regatta's scheduled for April 23rd to the 26th in Cagliari, Sardegna followed by Portsmouth England scheduled for the 4th to the 7th of June. Despite unknown border restrictions at this stage, we can only hope that the 36th America's Cup will go ahead, adhering to what our new world will look like once we begin recovery. With this in mind, the 36th America's Cup has the potential to be the world's first international event to occur since the pandemic bringing together sailors and non-sailors together from around the world and providing a much-needed glimmer of hope during such unprecedented times. We hope that we can resume our America's Cup anticipation 'schooner' rather than later.
Here in the City of Sails, Auckland finally stands still. The delicate rush of the Waitemata Harbour can finally be heard without the conflict of daily traffic and activity. Our roads clear, our skies bright. Aotearoa finally breathing as it awaits our presence once more.
As we await for the right time to rise again, Love My New Zealand will be waiting and ready to help you experience not only the 36th America's Cup should it proceed, but the very best of New Zealand and the things that make our country, our land and our people so unique. Whether you are a Kiwi travelling in your home-land or an international guest travelling to us for the very first time, allow us to enrich your mind, enagage your senses and leave you in awe with experiences that go well beyond just sight-seeing and activites. It is now time to sharpen our pencils, set better policies and take excellence to a new standard as we set the bar for Tourism experiences in our beautiful country.
Help us break through the current assumptions of our industry as we begin to look at real dreams and behaviours going forward in our new wave of Tourism in New Zealand. To gift us your insight about your own future travel plans click here to complete a short survey, your insight is absolutely key in enabling us to thrive in a new world of experience. If you are a Tourism Operator or Provider, please reach out to us and tell us about your own exemplary offering here as we look to expand our unique network of businesses who like us, have found their offering turned upside down but believe there are new ways of being.
Thoughts from Director Sharon Stewart
The above video released by Auckland, New Zealand is the perfect message at a time like this. We are breathing and that is all we can do. No longer is the world in control of what has recently happened to us all and some have been luckier than others. I want to send all our love from Love My New Zealand to those we know and to those we haven't yet met who have and are suffering from this pandemic. There are sometimes no words to give other than we see and hear you. This is such a huge issue for the world and therefore it will take a huge effort for us all to look to how we rebuild our societies and economies but we at Love My New Zealand know that it can only be with love, empathy and hard work from each person who can, that we will hopefully build a new normal that was much better than before.
I myself thought recently how my own life as the director of Love My New Zealand as well as a solo mum to three children was getting too crazy. I had days when I would completely forget where I was, where I was driving to, who I had just spoken with on the telephone and where I was going to the following day. It was scary at times and rushing around takes its toll. Therefore, for me, this time of lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand has made me realise I do not want to go back to that and my promise is I won't.
However, many of our guests both past, present and future have asked about the 36th America's Cup and what that all looks like as we try and live a little of the life we used to enjoy. The answer is we don't know! No-one really does and although the world is crammed with opinions at the moment, of which mine is also one, we cannot predict what will happen. My hope and dream is that we as a world will beat the pandemic and grow wiser and stronger from it. My hope is that the action New Zealand has taken in relation to how we, as a country, have chosen to handle this (and at this stage I want to thank our government for such an amazing response and plan to help its people) means we have the opportunity to host one of the first world sporting events here in Auckland as we come out of the pandemic.
Love My New Zealand will be ok. We will remain here for our customers and how we have done that is through the incredible team we have. Reducing all business expenses apart from the team allows us to flatline with a viable heartbeat. Everything is ready to begin welcoming you to Auckland. Our hope is that New Zealand will be disease free and therefore strict border measures will no doubt be in place so we will keep you informed as we get to know what this looks like. It may mean you have to spend time in quarantine when you arrive, but one thing we know for sure, we will personally ensure your time here is magical. A time for you, a moment to breathe, to woop, to cheer, to laugh, to celebrate and to be - to just be!
We are breathing, we are waiting, we are hoping we see you soon.
- Sharon Stewart, Director of Love My New Zealand
America's Cup: Where Are We Now?
Update from America's Cup Expert Larry Keating
There isn't a day that I'm not asked whether I think the Cup will either be postponed or cancelled. The fact is I don't know; however I can say this. As the COVID-19 pandemic floods the headlines, the America's Cup hasn't escaped the sceptics. Some are saying the regatta should be postponed for a year while others ask why. The chat groups are about whether the regattas will be affected or not.
The ‘Cup' has on two occasions in its 169-year history, been either cancelled and set aside for many years.
The first was in 1914 when WW1 broke out while Sir Thomas Liptons Shamrock was on a passage to New York for the 13th America's Cup. The Captain got word while they were halfway across the Atlantic and made for Bermuda to await instructions. Shamrock eventually sat in New York for 6 years until the 1920 regatta.
The second occasion wasn't necessarily a cancellation but after the 1937 America's Cup regatta in Newport Rhode Island which was won by Harold Vanderbilts J Boat 'Ranger' the second world war broke out. It wasn't until 19 years later in 1958 that the America's Cup was revived.
Anyway, back to where we are now. There is no suggestion from either Emirates Team New Zealand or the Italian Challenger of Record that the event is under threat. The latest news is that the challenger yachts are being shipped and at least in one case, flown to New Zealand over the next few months.
The defender Te Aihe which arrived in Italy for the World Series last month, was quickly turned around after the regatta cancellation and is presently on its way home. Assuming New Zealand's borders are open by September the international crews will begin arriving to set up their bases and begin trialling out on the Hauraki Gulf.
Given that the crews will be coming from three of the most COVID-19 affected countries in the world (Italy, UK & USA) it's likely that they will be subjected to quarantine for at least 14 days before being allowed to get to work. Therefore, I would say with a vote of optimism that we could see up to eight foiling ‘Cup' yachts flying around our waters some time before October.
I say eight foiling yachts because all three challengers and the kiwi defender will have built their second boats to trial during the lead up to the December regatta. Here too there is no suggestion that this regatta which was to have been the third of the World Series will be cancelled.
- Larry Keating, America's Cup Expert
A Note from our Marketing Executive
COVID-19 has shown me just how fickle the Tourism Industry is. What is has also shown me is the resilience and grit that those in the industry possess when it comes to adapting to change. Tourism companies and leaders are now having to think differently about their offerings and adapt to a new future. I believe we are heading towards a reinvigorated and sustainable chapter of tourism for New Zealand, one where Love My New Zealand aims to be the benchmark for more fulfilling and authentic experiences encompassing the best of New Zealand. This is now an opportunity for tourism businesses to help rewrite the path of Tourism in New Zealand and show the world what we do best.
New Zealand has always been looked upon as a best-case example and I believe we can absolutely achieve that once more. This is also an opportunity for our people to see their own country with a fresh pair of eyes and a sense of uninterrupted freedom until such time as border restrictions ease and we can welcome our international guests back into our beautiful country. This is now the time to encourage Kiwi's to explore their backyard, go to those places they've never been before, see their friends and family and connect again with their own country by being a local, supporting SME's and to fall in love with their New Zealand.
- Aleesha Crouch, Marketing Executive for Love My New Zealand
Auckland City Harbour Photo Credit: Matt Crawford