Strategist Liv Mackay confirmed: “It’s been an incredible weekend. I can’t believe the home crowd, it’s been the best event for us by far.”
Other teams joining the chorus in singing the event’s praise, with Switzerland’s Sebastien Schneiter saying that it was “lots of fun”.
“This race track is amazing, the best one so far,” he insisted.
The New Zealand leg will head to Auckland next year, with Budge keen to build off the love felt in Lyttleton, without repeating and replicating.
“It’ll be different,” he admitted. “There are different challenges.
“It’s a really different body of water. There’s a uniqueness to each venue.
“We won’t have the transportation challenge that we had to overcome in Christchurch, but then we’ve still got to move people into our biggest city and bring that bigger city to life.
“In Christchurch, we were the biggest show in town. In Auckland, we’ll have to make sure we do our job really well, and demand the headlines and the attention.
“Each event will have its own personality – not necessarily good or bad, just unique.”
That work begins now, before they even set sail in the City of Sails.