Arriving at Lake Karapiro, for the World Championships yesterday on Air New Zealand we were delighted by their ‘mad about rubgy’ safety video. Featuring the All Blacks as cabin stewards and passengers it humourously covered the breifing memorably. Watch it yourself.
The New Zealand landscape has parts that look very familiar to British eyes – fields, farms, trees and houses and yet there are some things that are uniquely kiwi spliced into the expected.
many houses are single storey, typically built of wood rather than brick. The native plants like tree ferns and ‘cabbage trees’ (a small palm tree) add to the roadside flora and lillies that are only sold in florists back home, grow wild.
The local talk radio station “Talk ZB” are broadcasting from the course and were encouraging people who’d been at the 1978 Worlds to phone in with their memories of the only other Rowing Worlds held here.
The opening ceremony was well attended in brilliant sunshine and a tearing tailwind coming down the course. Local comedian host welcomed the “40 countries including the South Island” and held a flag parade by local schoolkids. Only Belarus and Belgium got into the wrong order.
A mass maori gathering in traditional costume war danced a welcome including getting the FISA officials to sing a traditional song!
And four war canoes paddled past, turned and gave the ‘salute’ to the Maori king, officials and the crowd.