Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Who's ever heard of America's Cup?: why I'm cheering against my homeland

Something that is making me smile lately is watching all of the excitement, tension, and hype over a boat race taking place right now in San Fransisco--America's Cup. Ever heard of it? I haven't, at least not till I got here to New Zealand. Apparently it's like the sailing Olympics. It happens every four years, and since Auckland is the city of sails and yachting is a national past time, you can guess that it's a pretty big deal around here. As one person who was explaining its importance to me said, "it's the only thing that New Zealand is really good at."

I think there are a whole lot of other things New Zealand is "good at" (peanut slabs, meat pies, nice mountains, cool accents...) but they are definitely very good at sailing, and I have found myself cheering for them against Oracle, the American team, as they've raced over the last ten days or so. Every day, barring any unforeseen weather difficulties, there are two races. Here in New Zealand they happen at 8:10 and 9:10 in the morning, respectively (PS New Zealanders say "ten past eight and ten past nine" and it's very funny to me), which means that, since the whole country is watching it, life doesn't really start till about 9:30 everyday (half past nine :). The teams race around in the ocean following some imaginary lines only sailors can see, and try to be the first team to collect 9 wins. NZ was leading 8-1 over the US recently, then they were 8-3, and now, weirdly (and a bit conspiratorially, according to some), they are tied with the US 8-8. To be honest, I will be disappointed if they lose to Oracle, even though that would be a really incredible comeback story for my own country. I guess it's just the fighter spirit in me. I like cheering for the little guy. :)

PS--I love these commercials. "Lean with Us"


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great sport! But I think the underdog this time might be the US, I mean, they were really far behind. Wouldn't it be nice to have a national sport we could delay work for? Hm....