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Cup runneth over onto village streets and maunga

Flagstaff Team

Home advantage… the World Series pits Emirates Team New Zealand against three challengers

Devonport gets its first taste of America’s Cup excitement this weekend, as the World Series warm-up event tests both yachties on the water and local hosting arrangements.

To cope with visitors expected over the four race days from 17-20 December, especially this weekend, parking restrictions have been imposed on some streets and ferry and bus timetables adjusted. Maungauika will come alive with food stalls and cultural demonstrations, with a shuttle carrying visitors from the ferry terminal if they choose not to walk along the waterfront to what promises to be the premium vantage point.

Depending what course the yachts race on – to be decided on race days – Maungauika, Narrow Neck, Takapuna and Milford may be where crowds congregrate.

The racing pits Emirates Team New Zealand against the three challengers. On land it will show how successfully commuters and visitors co-exist and if the hoped-for boon for business on the North Shore is forthcoming.

Businesses along King Edward Pde will be most hit by road closures, stopping traffic reaching them, but the hope is there may be a windfall from pedestrians. Residents on that road and several others have had to apply for parking coupons to reach their homes.

The same issues will arise, when the Prada Cup staged for the challengers (running between 15 January and 22 February) will decide who meets Team NZ in March.

The performance of Lake Rd under extra traffic volume will also be closely watched.

Viewing spots

Three of the five Cup racing courses are best viewed (by land) from the North Shore. Devonport offers the best views of both Course B and C.

Course C between Maungauika and Bastion Point is the preferred course to take advantage of the predominant south-west wind. Maungauika offers multiple vantage points.

Course B is positioned in the Rangitoto Channel, with views from Narrow Neck Beach and other spots along the east of the Devonport peninsula. It will be sailed with winds either from the north-east or south-west.

Course A, with views from Takapuna and Milford, can be sailed in nearly all wind directions, but is very exposed to the north-east wind, causing high seas unsuitable for high-performance foiling boats.

FERRY FREQUENCY: Devonport to Auckland ferries will run every 20 minutes from noon to 8pm on race days. Journeys may take a little longer than the normal 15 minutes, due to heavy water traffic. The Stanley Bay ferry will not run during these times. • See below for ferry timetables

APPROACHING THE SUMMIT: A free shuttle will run at 10-minute intervals from the ferry terminal to Maungauika between 1pm and 7pm. Kai stalls will operate on the maunga this Thursday and Friday, with more activities hosted by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority over the weekend. The Love Your Maunga Festival of art and storytelling will feature temporary sound and light installations in the historic defence tunnels, and guided walks. • See page 8

PARKING PLACES: Free valet bike and e-scooter parking will be available on Maungauika along with limited accessible car-parking spaces. In Takapuna, the new Toka Puia car-parking building off Huron or Northcroft St offers an additional 420 spaces.

BUS BYPASS: A free race day Akoranga to Devonport shuttle will run approximately every 10 minutes between 1pm and 7pm. AT hopes this special service will encourage people to travel to the station from north or south by the Northern Busway, then hop onto a shuttle, rather than clog up local roads with cars. Use of cycles and walking is also encouraged.

This article originally appeared in the 29 January 2021 edition of the Flagstaff. Read online here.

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