Friday, 21 January 2011
The AC45 helmed by Murray Jones, Auckland, NZ. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com
by Jane Eagleson
The AC 45’s test crew’s skipper Jimmy Spithill was a bit under the weather today so Murray Jones aka "The Captain" took the helm for testing.
For Jones it was his first day driving the AC 45. “I got thrown into the deep end having to sail out of the Harbour and throw a few tacks,” Jones said.
The Captain negotiated the Viaduct Harbour beautifully and was soon blasting along the Waitemata Harbour. The AC 45 topped out at about 28 knots today although Jones reckons they were pushing 30 knots.
“There was 25 knots of breeze along the cityfront with the tide against us. The boat was really performing well and going pretty fast. The teams will be pleasantly surprised. The boat is really responsive. It was really fun. I am just hoping Jimmy doesn’t make a very quick recovery,” Jones said in jest.
Saturday is a scheduled maintenance day for the boat and Sunday will be a day off. On-the-water testing continues again Monday.
Launch of the AC45:
Core Builders, Warkworth, Northland, where the AC45 was built. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com