I bought a paper this morning to see the teams for tomorrow. Guess what the Tindall Stag Do was in again. This time apparently some of the team on a photo shoot for Land Rover had been arrogant and driven the cars recklessly. Land Rover have made a complaint to the IRB and RFU, allegedly. Mmmmm. Land Rover are a sponsor of England Rugby. That means money, so the RFU will act, or put another £10 on the price of tickets to cover the lost revenue. If true, I really think any player implicated should never pull an England shirt again. I don’t think they will be missed on their performances here anyway. If as I really suspect, the other bad press has influenced some local New Zealand Land Rover staff who have been wound up by their press reports, and don’t understand the humour, as England do seem to have been targeted more than any other nation. (Ireland, France and South Africa have also not behaved at times) but then they’re not English?
I went into Auckland for the day, and walked along the Harbour front to the special Waka (boat) set up to celebrate Maori culture. It has been very controversial in construction, due to the cost, but it was well worth the visit. I could go on about the demonstrations in carving and weaving, all very nice, but the real reason for getting excited was the Maori rugby exhibition. There were a series of panels depicting 100+ years of Maori rugby, including the 1888 tour of the UK. In it, they mention Burton FC (as they were known then – no need for the R), on a copy of the programme of games, with a hand written L against it, and an honourable mention to Frank Evershed the former captain. I took loads of photos of ths panel, and two Maori men approached me to ask me what I was doing. – Ron Cribb and Mark Mayerhofler. Tana Te Panu ( the legendary maori coach, and Tony Marsh were also there. I of course spent ages boring, (sorry telling) them why I was taking photos of a panel. Mind you all the different rugby exhibitions I‘ve been to, I’m not sure it can be exhibited in any other way.
On Queens Wharf there was an exhibition on NZ film and tv. With Peter Jackson, I thought that this would be of interest, the main highlight was standing on a yellow carpet square waving y arms about until I recognised a pop video (I got you – Split Enz) and then motioning forward. (I’ve only just mastered using a mouse!!). Technology just hasn’t given me chance to keep up to date before it moves on again.
I had a great lunch – fig, walnut and gorgonzola salad, at Snagdragon – top meal, so good that Tim Horan and David Campese also ate there..( I didn’t give Campo the satisfaction).
Then over to the \Americas Cup yacht (2003) for a race against the 1998 version. 22 tonnes and 21 of those below the water line. The wind speed was 23 knots, which meant a harbour race, as it was not built to with stand anything above 19 knots, but obviously we would not be going at full speed – although it certainly went fast enough for the stern to be level with the water, and we were tilting so far over that we were touching the water on one side. It was my first time sailing (last attempt I was too ill with flu to contribute), and I got chance to steer it – 10m USD worth of boat – good job I didn’t have to reverse. The rest of the race I got to tack – I saw it as a way of holding on). As it was a race, the captain explained that we would lose the first half of the race with the wind, as the boat was designed to sail against the wind – with lots of tacking. Even so, we were ahead at the halfway, and raced into the lead on the turn and then coming bac. Both paid crews seemed up for it, so I don’t think it was fixed in any way.
I don’t understand knots and speed on the water, but we were doing about 11 knots which seemed pretty fast to me. Don’t think that as an experience of sailing, that can be bettered, except perhaps by crewing on the Tall Ships Race.
I then went to the theatre to see ‘Anything Goes’. It was a bit weird as there was a combination of professionals and Am Dram. Cole Porter’s bit was god, but the usual la te dah te dah songs that come with musicals made me think ‘get on with it will you?’ as they were a patch of Porter’s songs. Some of the costume was a bit worn as well – a Dinner suit with patches at the knees? And the lead wore Eton style boating gear for dinner as he must had thought it made him look cool. Still, it was an experience to add to the rest.
I Got You – Split Enz – before Crowded House and the only featured song I recognised.