Sunday, September 15, 2013

Emerates, Team New Zealand---you are making this very hard for my heart, damn it!

We began the day as per the usual lately, at the school I work in. The big TV was on I the staffroom, turned up loud, before our morning briefing. By the time senior management got up to do their thing, with the TV muted, Team NZ was in the crap as it were. They had lost the start and Oracle had swept ahead. NZ was left in their wake and by the time our management signalled they had finished (we had just heard how our incredible choir had yet again done themselves and our school proud at the 'Pops' concert in the Auckland Town Hall---I will stick up the site where you can buy the CD on at a later date) the first race was all but over.
Was this the start of an incredible comeback by Oracle? That's what it felt like and that feeling was one that gives you a horrible sinking feeling. That most of the world couldn't care less about the America's Cup regatta is a moot point. For New Zealand as a nation it is vitally important; for our morale and yes, for our economy. NZ has gained a great deal in the 'boat building world,' from design right through to building, support services and sailing the huge boats. (Many syndicates have NZers involved in their campaigns) So you can imagine the gremlin thoughts that were starting to impinge on our thinking.
Oh well, there is always race two we all thought and we were still ahead 6-1. Remember, Oracle had started from minus 2 because they had been caught out 'cheating' in a previous but related regatta. Maybe that is just a continuation of the manner in which they won the Cup in the first place; not on the water but in the court rooms. Sound familiar?
Race two and once again we lost the 'start. It looked like a repeat of race one, with Oracle clawing ahead and then NZ gaining a brief lead, to see it dissipate again. By now I had a colleague streaming the race onto a large screen from his computer (Don't be surprised. Even in our state schools we have good technical services in NZ!). Leg four and NZ made its move. I had huge trouble hiding my feelings from my tutor group; normally my language would have been quite 'creative' if I had been at home, but no, I held my tongue; literally it should be said, if my later in the day sore tongue is anything to go by!
Team NZ crept ahead, a few metres at a time and then rounded the last mark just a few seconds ahead. I wanted to scream. Jeeze, I hope I didn't! My students were watching my reactions as much as they were watching the big screen. Our   beautiful big catamaran slowly but surely moved away from Oracle and suddenly the finish line loomed with the city of San Francisco framing what turned out to be another win for Team NZ. 7-1 now and just two victories to go. Will I be able to watch without something terribly medically unpredictable happening? Time will tell, in two days time. Go Dean and  the boys! Right--- I will wear my red socks on Wednesday, NZ time.
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