Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has confirmed that in exchange for the Government agreeing to fund Emirates Team New Zealand’s next America’s Cup challenge, the team will be required to have National Party branding displayed prominently on the sail.
Steven Joyce confirmed the arrangement today on TV3’s Firstline as he sought to reassure New Zealanders that Team New Zealand would be in a solid position to ensure that there wouldn’t be an exodus of talent from the team post this year’s disappointment in San Francisco.
“This Government is absolutely committed to ensuring National Party branding is on Team New Zealand’s next boat,” Joyce said. “I have no doubt that knowing that the representatives of Auckland’s wealthiest families will be just what the sailors need to realise that they don’t need to go overseas chasing lucrative contracts with other teams. They can stay right here in New Zealand and want for nothing, except possibly success or international recognition. But who really wants those aside from Peter Jackson?”
John Key has also indicated that he will personally back the challenge from his own wealth after joining Joyce in the Firstline studio , though Key’s backing will be in exchange for a portrait of the Prime Minister will need to feature on the boat’s code zero sail. Key said that he was “very excited about the hole thing and I’ve been practicing shaking hands and looking awkward in photos especially for it,” before he was quickly ushered out of the studio by Joyce.
Team New Zealand skipper, Dean Barker, wasn’t immediately available for comment as the journalist could not walk him from what appeared to be an alcohol induced coma in a gutter outside Shed 10 in Auckland.
New Zealand’s media are reported to be devastated today that they will need to return to work ahead of schedule following Oracle Team USA’s come-from-behind victory in the 34th America’s Cup. Having enjoyed two weeks of running the same, alternating stories of postponed racing and Oracle winning again, many journalists are said to be unsure whether they still remember how to do their jobs.
“I haven’t had to cover a single game of oval ball running in two weeks” said TV3 rugby reporter Jim Kayes. “Now that the America’s Cup is over, I’m not sure if I remember the rules anymore. I mean, they were confusing enough before hand, but now that I’ve been away from it for two weeks, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do it again.”
The impact stretched beyond sports journalists too as mainstream news journalists faced up to the realisation that they might need to start reporting on actual news events again. “I’m just shell shocked,” said TVNZ’s Sunday reporter Peter Cronshaw. “My editor called me up this morning and said I had to go do a story on the situation in Syria. I didn’t realise Syria had a boat in the America’s Cup, I just don’t know what to do, doesn’t my editor realise what’s happening to our $34 million dollar investment in Emirates Team UAE?”
Meanwhile newspaper subeditors are rumoured to be starring blankly at their screens as they come to the stark realisation that all their good sport choking puns were used up at the 1999, 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups.
However at least one person in the news media is apparently celebrating, with TVNZ yachting commentator Martin Tasker posting on Twitter today that he’d “finally get to bang that Jewish woman after all” now that the America’s Cup was over.
Emirates Team New Zealand have revealed the reason for Aotearoa losing the last five races to Oracle as they discovered that Wellington mayoral candidate John Morrison had sneaked aboard to bathe himself on the front of the boat during races.
Skipper Dean Barker made the shocking discovery this afternoon when conducting a post-race inspection of the boat as they searched for reasons why Emirates Team New Zealand had fallen so far behind Oracle as the regatta had progressed.
“I decided to take a thorough look around the boat to see if we had any damage that we hadn’t noticed. When I was inspecting the bow I found John Morrison standing there with no clothes on as he toweled himself down,” said Barker.
It appears that Morrison had been using the sea spray from the boat in order to clean himself, however the extra drag and weight his presence created compromised Emirates Team New Zealand’s performance.
When asked to explain why he was bathing on the front of the boat, Morrison explained that “nobody wants to share their showers with me anymore back in Wellington, so I figured that coming over here and bathing myself on the front of Aotearoa was a fairly safe option. I mean, it’s not like we’re ever going to be in front of Oracle so I was hoping no one would notice me.”
Morrison then added that the reporter looked “fairly dirty herself and perhaps you’d like to join me next time.”
Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithall has called off the second scheduled America’s Cup race today following one of the crew members spilling a glass of Moet over his shirt during the first race, which Oracle lost by a margin of 1 minute and 5 seconds to Team New Zealand.
“It was a hugely traumatic event for the whole crew,” Spithall told journalists following Oracle’s decision to play their wild card to postpone the race. “John Kostecki, our tactician, had only just poured his second glass of Moet when a freak gust of wind caught him off guard. The glass toppled over onto him and ruined his new silk shirt and completely traumatised the entire team.”
Kostecki, who was visibly shaken by the spillage, struggled to contain his emotions during the press conference, “I just can’t believe we lost a glass of Moet. I… I feel so responsible. As soon as the glass tipped you could feel the entire morale of the crew drop. We were leading Team New Zealand at the time and suddenly the guys had to take their eyes off the race to make sure they didn’t spill their glasses either. Jimmy was really good about it, he jumped off the wheel to come over with a napkin to try and mop up the spilled champagne, and he even offered me his glass, but by then it was too late. I was inconsolable.”
Team New Zealand, while disappointed that they couldn’t get another win under their belts while Oracle was down in the dumps, understood how troubling such a spillage could be.
“It’s a hugely difficult thing to deal with as a team,” Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker said. “We might only have Lindauer Special Reserve onboard our boat, but we’d be pretty distraught if any of the guys spilled their drink during a race. I nearly knocked my glass over once when going around a buoy, but I managed to catch it just in time, but the team was pretty shaken up by that.”
Oracle have also announced that their design team will be creating champagne glass holders that won’t tip over during future races, while Team New Zealand have confirmed they too are responding to the risk, though they won’t make design changes, instead each crew member will simply drink straight from their own bottle instead, “just like a Friday night in central Auckland.”
Oracle Team USA owner and team principal Larry Ellison is furious with his CEO Russell Coutts for not trying to buy out the international jury who today handed Oracle a 2 point deduction in the upcoming America’s Cup series as well as banning several team members from the races and fining the syndicate.
“To say I’m disappointed is an understatement,” Ellison wrote on his Facebook page this evening. “We all know winning in the America’s Cup is about how much money you spent, not how talented your designers are, which is why I tried to suggest to Russell, ‘What about if we bought the jury?’. Apparently the Kiwi CEO misunderstood me, thinking I said ‘What about if we brought the jury’ and instead took the international jury on a tour of our facilities, pointing out how we’d changed the design of some of our catamarans to win previous world series.”
Ellison went on to elaborate that, “Instead of giving them brown paper bags full of unmarked bills, instead Russell showed them how we’d inserted extra weight into the catamarans to make them perform better. That didn’t go down so well with them.”
The software magnate concluded by pointing out that, “I can’t believe Russell cocked up like this. Now the fate of the America’s Cup is actually going to be decided by racing, on the water, by actual sportsmen trying to compete. I much preferred it when it used to be decided by who could afford the better legal team.”
Rumour is swirling around San Francisco today amid talk that Emirates Team New Zealand may have won the Louis Vuitton Cup 7 – 1 over Italian challengers Luna Rossa, though officials are unsure. Setting off in heavy fog this morning, Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa sailed into the San Francisco Bay and, allegedly raced against each other. However, due to the low visibility thanks to the fog, nobody is sure who actually won the race, even the challengers themselves.
“It was pretty tough out there this morning,” said Dean Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand skipper. “We had virtually zero viability and as a result, we had no idea where Luna Rossa was the entire time. They could have been in front of us for all we knew, we didn’t even know where the marker buoys were.”
Luna Rossa skipper Francesco de Angelis was equally as confused after the race, “It was very hazy out there, so we just stopped the boat after going over the start line, turned around and tried to find our way back. Nobody would have known we were cheating, though we couldn’t find the finish line.”
The inability to determine a winner means that the Kiwis and Italians will now have to go head-to-head in a boat-race competition at the San Francisco Yacht Club to determine who will win the Louis Vuitton Cup. Dean Barker has already nominated himself for the drinking competition citing years spent drinking that “organic swill my brother claims is wine” will give him the edge in the competition.
The fog ridden affair has brought back traumatic memories for Hurricanes Super Rugby fans who recall the tragic final of 2006, where the entire Hurricanes team went missing for 80 minutes in the fog at Jade Stadium in Christchurch.
In an announcement that initially shocked the sailing fraternity, Oracle Team USA CEO Russell Coutts today admitted that the decision to use the AC72 catamarans was made in order to remove the element of racing from the prestigious yachting series and save anyone from actually being beaten and feeling bad about their inability to be competitive.
“We’d decided that after years of the America’s Cup being decided by racing and court room battles, it was time we spiced things up again,” said Coutts from the team’s San Franciso headquarters. “So it just made sense to have everyone race on these very fragile catamarans, that way you could only lose a race by breaking equipment, rather than actually getting beaten. We felt that we needed to make sure the losing teams had a really good excuse as to why they’d lost, and gear failure is the perfect thing to blame.”
While fellow crews were initially shocked by the revelation, they quickly moved to support the decision. Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker was one of the first to support the announcement.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Dean said while sipping a glass of his brother’s organic wine. “I mean, there’s countries out there that spent millions of taxpayer’s hard earned dollars on these regattas and for them to get trounced on the water is a pretty galling thing for them to take. At least if something breaks on the boat and they have to withdraw, people back home won’t be disappointed that all that money was wasted on uncompetitive designs or taking Hollywood Scientologists on joyrides.”
Luna Rossa Challenge’s Team Principal Patrizio Bertelli agreed, “I think it’s a great decision. I mean sure, Emirates Team New Zealand won two out of the first three races of the Louis Vuitton Cup final, but at least Luna Rossa didn’t loose them. We just had a bit of a boo-boo with some of our gear on the boat and had to retreat. In a way, taking that type of action really lives up to our Italian heritage.”