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Record crowds in New Zealand singalong with Rod Stewart to send message of unity to the world

by Ella McDonald 13 Mar 2021 07:51 PST
America's Cup match day 3 - Rock the Dock with Rod Stewart © ACE / Studio Borlenghi

Thousands of New Zealanders have joined British rock icon, Rod Stewart in a nationwide singalong of his hit song, Sailing, to send a message of togetherness to the world.

The Rock the Dock campaign saw Sir Rod Stewart perform a powerful and emotive rendition of his iconic song Sailing, from a boat on the Thames in London, with the pre-recorded performance beamed onto the Te Wero big screen in Auckland, New Zealand's America's Cup Village, and broadcast by official programming partner, TVNZ.

The 36th America's Cup was set to be New Zealand's opportunity to welcome visitors from all over the world, but this wasn't to be - so 100% Pure New Zealand saw an opportunity to send a message of unity and togetherness to America's Cup competitors and their fans around the world.

"Aotearoa's warm welcome and manaakitanga was on full display today, as we cheered on our international friends and became back-up singers for our mate Rod," says Tourism New Zealand, Interim Chief Executive, René de Monchy.

"New Zealand is incredibly proud to be hosting the 36th America's Cup, and it was fantastic to show our support for both Emirates Team New Zealand and the international teams who have come to compete."

The iconic rocker had this to say,

"I have a great big soft spot for New Zealand since two of my children are Kiwis and so I'm pleased to be a part of the America's Cup, joining Kiwis to send this message of togetherness out to the world. I hope my performance of Sailing brings some joy to fans in these challenging times."

As well as a special message for Kiwis,

"A special thank you or 'kia ora' to New Zealanders. I really enjoyed performing Sailing and watching the Kiwis singing along. During all of my many visits, the Kiwis have always been friendly, fun and warm and I'm looking forward to returning to New Zealand this time next year."

Auckland Unlimited spokesperson, Chief Executive, Nick Hill commented: "We're grateful to be in a position to host a major global sporting event amid a pandemic in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland. It's not been without its challenges, but we know the world has been watching the amazing spectacle take place on the Hauraki Gulf and storing away these pictures for future travels. It seemed only fitting to mark the start of the 36th America's Cup with something special that brings the country together."

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