12 Jul 2017

Polar blast couldn't keep Chch Cup crowds away

6:24 pm on 12 July 2017

Freezing conditions in Christchurch didn't stop thousands of people turning out Team New Zealand's victory parade in the city this afternoon.

Snow in parts of the city along with hail and rain didn't deter the crowd from showing their support in the third parade to be held for the team since it won the America's Cup late last month.

At midday Emirates Team New Zealand travelled with yachting's top trophy - the Auld Mug - from the central bus interchange to the Christchurch Art Gallery, where a formal welcome was held.

Victory parades have already been held in Auckland and Wellington.

Crowds lined the parade route despite the inclement weather.

Crowds lined the parade route despite the inclement weather. Photo: RNZ / Maja Burry

But helmsman Peter Burling said each one had been special - and the turnout in Christchurch had been amazing given the weather.

"It was sleeting and snowing this morning and we looked out the window and thought there wouldn't be a lot of people turning up ... but it's just amazing to see how many people have."

Christchurch resident Jeff Thompson said it was great the city had been given the chance to celebrate the win with a parade.

"They did bloody well to bring it [the Auld Mug] back home again where it belongs, I was even able to touch the cup and feel the weight of it," he said.

Bailee Atkinson was stoked to see the team.

Bailee Atkinson was stoked to see the team. Photo: RNZ / Maja Burry

Christchurch Yacht Club member, 12-year-old Bailee Atkinson, said although he sailed a smaller boat than Team New Zealand's, one day he hoped to be good enough to race in the America's Cup.

He said he had been looking forward to meeting his idols.

The final victory parade will be held in Dunedin tomorrow - but Team New Zealand said it wanted to start planning a regional tour later in the year.

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