What a day, glamorous, jet set and big treats! We started with lunch at Shed 5 http://www.thenourishgroup.co.nz/shedfive which is a harbourside restaurant on the jetty where all the 'World Boats' are moored. They have outdoor tables right on the water and we had been given the best one! People were crowding in on all sides to look at the boats and kept being shooed away by the waiters asking rhetorically "are you dining with us today" (if not go somewhere else!) So we had a ringside view of the action as each boat was interviewed by the TV crews and then set sail! We then had a delicious glamorous lunch whilst the children were pretty amazingly behaved. Stan really enjoyed his starter of freshly baked bread with a white truffle oil and marscapone spread, followed by wonderful fish and chips with almost tempura-light batter. I tucked into a fabulous piece of grilled fish (bream or snapper we couldn't decide) served on Nori and wasabi rice with fresh spinach and a spring onion and ginger sauce - I think I may steal this for the dinner I have to cook for the school auction when I get back. Accompanying all of that was a lovely Martinborough pink wine and I really felt like 'this is the life, long live summer and how lucky am I!!'
After lunch we wandered over to an indoor rock climbing centre for a long promised treat for Oliver, he had a chalk ball in a special bag which needed an outing! He was a superstar completing 3 climbs in no time much to the amusement of all watching - including Stan who was desperate to get up there too.
The next stop was a 'quick' drive round Oriental Bay to watch the start of the race, we wanted to be far round enough to see them close up without too many crowds - I think we weren't the only ones to have that thought, so we had 20 nailbiting minutes in the car, stuck in traffic willing it to move, but with our luck today there was a space to pull over just where we had been heading - superb! We scrambled out of the car with minutes to spare and Oliver was thrilled to hear the canon and see the smoke and we all got very excited as they raced away out of the bay, then it was back in the car and a dash to Breakers Bay where the harbour meets the ocean for a last look at them. It's a beautiful bay, rocky headlands and patches of sand with a mixture of trad beach houses called Bachs (pron. batches) and really modern pads, all with the most beautiful outlook. We waited for 10 minutes before the first two boats appeared flanked by 3 or 4 helicopters flying around at incredibly low levels, seeming at some times to be at or below the full height of the masts. Over 20 minutes or so all of the boats appeared and sailed off into the great blue yonder and what a picture they made, clear blue sky, gentle breeze and beautiful scenery. I could live here!!