I have been one of an estimated 500,000 people checking up on their progress on the expedition website, www.crossingtheditch.com.au with the video logs and gps expedition tracker providing amazing coverage.
I think this coverage, probably combined with the tragic death of Andrew McCauley, so close to Fiordland last year, helped capture the publics imagination. This is definitely a lesson to learn for contemporary adventurers. Gone are the days when odd news flashes and an expedition book down the track are going to build a fan base and attract sponsors.
The Aussie boys also did the small things right, website footage of them, training, designing/making their vessel "Lot 41" and otherwise preparing reflected well on them. Likewise transtasman relations were improved by their kiwi friendly references to Phar Lap, Kia Kaha and Sir Edmund Hillary. They seem like humble, strong young adventurers, great ambassadors of the Aussie adventure community. Good on youse diggers.
(I have since discovered another interesting write up on the "crossing the ditch boys" at Bob McKerrows blogspot)