Auckland Day of Firsts

Day 2 of ... 1sts This morning I woke up early and got my work out gear on and headed out for a bit of a workout.  I also took my backpack and folding bag with me so I could stop off in  town to get some essentials.

The early morning once again reminded me of how special it is here.  The houses are very cute with their horizontal planked wooden walls and tin roofs painted in complimentary colors that also match the stained glass windows. 

Nothing too elaborate but uniquely Kiwi. Often a door was open and you could peek down the wide center halls all the way to the back yards where inevitably there was a BBQ.  In quite a few of the front lawns there are play sets and swings and nearly all of the gardens while unique are definitely ‘tended to’.    It was a nice feeling of walking through a happy secure neighborhood that was waking up.

I returned and had my version of an essential Kiwi breakfast.  Vogel’s bread toasted with some kiwi butter, tasty (cheddar) cheese and a sliced tomato, accompaied by a strong but creamy coffee.

As I was sitting at the table with alll 3 sets of French doors open, I looked out and to see two brightly colored kia’s (parrots) on the pohutakawa tree off of the porch.

Today I was supposed to prep by watching from shore but I happened to walk by the chartered ‘North Star’ and saw Peter Harken on board.  He invited me to come out an Terry and Mary Kohler seconded his sentiments so I am out on the water watching day one of Round Robin 2.

Briefly – the boats are equal and the teams are very close to equal as well.  With that being said, it was a day of 1sts. 

The 1st loss for Team Origin and for Team New Zealand and the 1st win for Team China.

Origin led Alinghi all the way around the race course until they started to get nervous that Alinghi was on their air on the last leg and jibed away allowing Alinghi to keep going and just nip them at the finish. Emirates Team New Zealand lost in a less spectacular way to Damiani Italia Challenge trailing all the way around.    Team China was ahead and probably would have won by about 20 seconds but that is only a few boat  lengths so Shosholoza was right behind them at the last top mark and putting the pressure on.  The Chinese had a marginal spinnaker set and Shosho set their kite perfectly.  It went up fast and  popped full almost instantly and then almost as instantly the whole corner of the  clew blew off! It was streaming from halyard at the top and the tack at the bottom.  The Jib went back up and they brought a new kite on deck and hoisted it.  They must have called for a ‘tender drop’ because the tack was spiked off and the halyard run but (and I have never seen this happen before) it must have kinked in the mast because just as the tender was about to start to pick it up the halyard tightened again and they were dragging the kite at 10 knots from the top of the mast – that is NOT good for anything.  So for the final first of the day, it is the first time I have seen a tender ‘finish’ the tender drop by cutting the halyard themselves.