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America's Cup passion still burns in Sir Michael Fay

PUBLISHED: 6:04PM Saturday September 14, 2013 Source: ONE News

The businessman who launched New Zealand's love affair with the America's Cup love affair is not worried about modifications Oracle are doing to their boat ahead of tomorrow's racing.

Sir Michael Fay believes the Americans risk going slower and there is very little they can do at this late stage.

Sir Michael spoke with Seven Sharp correspondent Craig Stanaway in San Francisco and said he believes he knows what Oracle boss Larry Ellison is thinking right now by drawing on his own experience.

These days, Sir Michael is a spectator, but his passion still burns, despite heading three campaigns that ultimately came up short.

Twenty-six years ago. the multi-millionaire introduced New Zealanders to the America's Cup through KZ7 and he doesn't want to jinx Team New Zealand by talking about any Cup defence.

But he says it's a tough time for Oracle's owner and they can probably do very little now.

"If you could, you would have done it at least four races ago," Sir Michael says.

And he has not ruled out helping if money is needed for a defence in New Zealand.

"New Zealand's got three problems and that's all we've got. Win Race Seven, win Race Eight, win Race Nine and everything after that is a quality problem about the next Cup."

NZ's US ambassador arrived in San Francisco today and the former boss of the World Trade Organisaton has more interest than most politicians - he was also New Zealand's first America's Cup minister.

"Kiwis will be surprised to learn we're making more money out of building superyachts than out of wine and it speaks to who we are as a country," says Mike Moore. "It's technology, it's guts, it's muscle."

And he says the Americans he deals with want New Zealand to win the Cup. will update and stream all America's Cup racing live, while TV ONE will also feature racing from 8.10am.

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