Pier 23 in San Francisco had a lot of love for the kiwi sailing team, and New Zealand, after they won the Louis Vuitton Cup against Prada’s Luna Rossa for Italy.
Both teams acknowledged each other in a strong show of unity within the yatching fraternity as each skipper spoke of the race against each team. On the water was a different scene as we watched Team NZ race to the finish line in record time and speed.
Out on the water on the second to last day it was exciting to see these incredibly fast yachts zoom towards us and then quickly change course and head off in another direction. With winds too strong to include a second race it wasn’t until Sunday that Team NZ bought home the cup.
There is a very positive reaction to NZ being here competiting for the America’s Cup. Each morning as I open my curtains and look out to the Bay Bradge the Larry Ellison’s entry Oracle stealthily glides past in their daily warm ups and course runs. Ellison’s other pleasure crafts are more like floating hotels on water, lined up along the different piers in San Fransisco.
The mecca for any kiwi who is in town is the Waiheke Island Yatch Club. With Tony Stewart, from Clooneys in Auckland, in tow, pier place is hoping and is busy each night. The wooden floor and simple wooden tables with slouchy leather chairs and enoromous open kitchen and bar makes any dinner feel right at home and welcome in this pop up restaurant.
Hayden McMillen at only 28, cooks like a master well beyond his years, the menu featured a great mix of New Zealand ingredients and Californian produce. The stand out was the Siver Fern Farms Silere Merino Lamb with butternut, fresh figs, goats cheese leek and kale; and who can ever look passed a crunchie bar inspired dessert?
Adding to the kiwi-pride were New Zealand shoe designer Kathryn Wilson and husband Liam, as well as Mike Hewitt from Dark Horse in Auckland. Safe to say the place had a great atmosphere, it would be a real shame to see this pop up disappear from the San Fransisco dining scene once the cup festivities is over.
Editor Michael McHugh is in San Fransisco as guest of Team NZ sponsor Nespresso.