Queenstowners support sailors

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Queenstowners have lent their support to Team New Zealand as they prepare for the America’s Cup.

They signed two replica catamaran ‘daggerboards’– devices used to improve stability and increase the speed of yachts – which are touring the country.

Once covered in Kiwi signatures the boards, developed by Toyota and Emirates, will be delivered to the team in San Francisco, where the renowned regatta is due to be held from July to September.

“They’ll sit proudly at the base and remind the team every day that New Zealand is fully behind them,” Toyota general manager of marketing Neeraj Lala says.

Queenstown daredevil pilot Chuck Berry, musician Dave Dobbyn, rugby star Marc Ellis and Queenstown helicopter pilot Louisa ‘Choppy’ Patterson have all signed the boards, which were displayed at Remarkables Park on Monday.

Kiwis are invited to submit a leaning photo to the ‘lean with us’ campaign website, putting them into the draw to win a trip for two to an America’s Cup final race in San Francisco.

Lala believes the online competition will go viral, bringing Kiwis from all parts of the country together to support Team New Zealand.

“Lean with us’ is a play on our boat’s ability to foil at spectacular speeds,” Lala says.

“We’ve taken the simple concept of leaning…and turned it into a way for Kiwis everywhere to show their support for the team.”

The boards will visit 16 locations in New Zealand.