Just two weeks after Emirates Team New Zealand wound up their last day sailing Barcelona, they are back out on the water testing on their AC40 on the familiar waters of the Hauraki Gulf again.
It has been a rapid turn around for the team to migrate South and get testing a range of new equipment in the two week window before heading to the second Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah later this month.
“These things don’t just happen,” explained Kevin Shoebridge. “While the large majority of our sailing and shore team only arrived back into the country in the past few days, we have had a number of core guys fly back from Barcelona a few weeks early so they can be preparing our AC40 again to get back out on the water.
So it is all part of the wider logistical plan to maximise efficiencies and testing opportunities on the water in the windows we have in our global schedule.”
The conditions were ideal for a first day back out, 7-10 knots then up to 15 knots from the West- and like in the last days in Barcelona, the sailors are back in their dry suits for their four hour session.
Skipper Peter Burling was again surrounded by his familiar AC40 crew of Nathan Outteridge, Blair Tuke and Andy Maloney the main focus on testing new configurations, with an eye also on the AC40 racing in Jeddah in a few weeks time.
“Its exciting to be back out here again. It is always nice to be home and sailing on familiar waters. We have had a very intense few months and it isn’t letting up yet. That is what Christmas is for,” said Burling.
“The clock is ticking on a number of fronts, this time next year the 37th America’s Cup will be over, and we have to keep pushing our testing to make final decisions on some critical elements of our race boat. Also we have 3 weeks until the next Preliminary Regatts in Jeddah where the racing will be highly competitive. So there are many balls in the air.”
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