The turnout for G4 was pretty light, I'd estimate about 500 total on both sides of the Viaduct.
When the rest of the fleet came in, it still seemed light to me, probably between 2000 and 4000 total. That said, it was a pretty miserable day and remains so today.
The Village is pretty disappointing and was all closed up for G4's arrival - not even a cup of coffee to be had. The displays are lack luster and there's no one to talk to, really.
And yet I read from the VOR website, "It set the stage for a remarkable morning in Auckland, as the so-called City of Sails underlined its reputation as the world's sailing capital, with thousands of fans taking to the sea on spectator boats and thousands more brandishing binoculars and lining the viewing area"
This reads like some Cold War press release. It's a plain old exaggeration. Even the photos of the kids' Opti race are closely cropped -- I'm guessing it was a tiny, tiny race.
I guess I'm just being Eeyore. Even at the finish of one of the most epic legs of ocean racing I can ever remember, in a place where sailing is supposedly central to life, 2-4 thousand people seems like a very meager turnout indeed.
VOR authorities: don't give up, but next time you've got to find a way to get more boats on the line. Six is not compelling enough, even in an outrageously difficult and epic setting. It's just not interesting enough for the man in the street.. Maybe there is a way to rewrite the Open 70 rules so that the boats are less exotic and expensive, so that it is easier to attract more sponsors. I don't know, but for Pete's sake, try something!!!