Wednesday, 13 May 2009
The Emirates Team New Zealand TP52 practising off Alicante. Image copyright Emirates Team New Zealand.
by Warren Douglas
After two days’ practice in Alicante, the sailing team is reveling in the fact that they’re back to racing again as a unit.
With a crew of 15, the TP52 requires only two fewer people than the 17 required to race an America’s Cup class yacht.
The team has had little opportunity for the team to sail together since the last race of the 32nd America’s Cup in July 2007. They have done a lot of racing since then, but as individuals or as small groups, rather than as a team.
The team got a taste of it in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in February and now they’re right into a series of five tough regattas to be sailed over the next five months.
While TP52 racing is different – fleet racing rather than the one on one of match racing – combinations and communications honed in the Mediterranean this year will be a benefit for future America’s Cup campaigns.
The team is very mindful that Alicante is only the first of five tough regattas. And even though they’re satisfied with preparations, to be successful they will have to improve day-by-day, race by race throughout the series.
An official practice race will be held on Tuesday (overnight New Zealand time) and the first race is on Wednesday, May 13.
Emirates Team New Zealand