IT’S confirmed – the America’s Cup is coming south.
The cup, along with Emirates Team New Zealand members and representatives from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, will visit Invercargill and Bluff on October 17 as part of a regional tour, which will also take in Wanaka, Queenstown and Oamaru.
“It’s great they are bringing the Auld Mug down to Southland to remind us they triumphed,” Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt said.
“We will be pulling out all the stops to ensure Southland businesses benefit from this international event.”
The details of the event were still being finalised, but it would involve a civic function at the Civic Theatre’s Victoria Rooms where members of the public could come and see the cup and take photos, he said.
Bluff Yacht Club commodore Anders Jagvik said members of the club were also organising an event in Bluff.
“The Bluff Yacht Club committee is really excited about the prospect of the impending visit and it is also very grateful to the holders of the cup for making it available throughout the country.”
The team would visit Bluff and display the America’s Cup at the Bluff Yacht Club on Foreshore Rd between 5pm and 6.30pm on October 17, he said.
The event was still being planned, but it would be open to the public and there would be photo opportunities for those wanting a picture of themselves and the trophy, he said.
The Bluff Yacht Club also planned to hold an invitation-only gala dinner in Bluff later the same evening, he said.
“This is intended as a fundraiser for the club and is aimed at the yachting fraternity in Southland. At this stage it is not envisaged tickets will be made available to the general public, given the limited seating arrangements,” he said.
The America’s Cup is the oldest continually contested international sporting trophy, representing the pinnacle of international sailing yacht competition. It was originally won by the United States-built schooner America on August 22, 1851, in a race against a fleet of British yachts around the Isle of Wight. It was later donated to the New York Yacht Club on condition it be perpetually placed in international competition.