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ETNZ – On water testing program begins

by americascup.com

Emirates Team New Zealand ticked off another major milestone of their 35th America’s Cup today, launching the first test boat in Auckland today.

The silver and red boat is formerly Luna Rossa’s AC45 test boat, which has been loaned to the Emirates Team New Zealand by the Italian syndicate.

While it is an exciting occasion for the team having the boat touch the water, the reality is it will take a few days to perform systems tests and gear checks before the real testing begins.

“There are a lot of people across all departments in the team that are chomping at the bit to finally get out on the Hauraki Gulf testing an America’s Cup yacht again,” said skipper Glenn Ashby.

“The really exciting thing, other than flying around at some pretty insane speeds will be that we are finally going to be sailing back in home waters and showing the public just how awesome these boats are up close again.”

© Hamish Hooper

© Hamish Hooper

The goal over the next few months for the test boat is to run through an immensely structured testing program with the sailors and designers implementing their learning’s and development into the next test boat due out early next year.

The sense of occasion is not lost on Team Chief Operations Officer Kevin Shoebridge,

“Really this milestone is an accumulation of a huge amount of hard work by everyone in the team, especially the shore guys, but also the fantastic support that Luna Rossa have provided to us.”

The launch of the boat caps off what has been a quietly successful year for the team.

“Our year has been a solid one,” continued Shoebridge. “We have been quietly grafting away in the background, our sailors have been performing leading the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, we have signed some significant sponsorship deals, our designers have been relentlessly developing and refining, we have moved our entire operational base, Pete and Blair have been named the ISAF sailors of the year, and now we have our initial test boat on the water.”

Here is looking forward to an even better 2016

Emirates Team NZ gets shipshape at McDougall + McConaghy 2015 Moth Worlds

2015 McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds. Sorrento - VIC AUSTRALIA  . 6/16 January 2015. 023,Peter BURLING,NZL 4219, 039,Chris DRAPER,GBR 4050

Some of the biggest names in America’s Cup sailing are here at the McDougall + McConaghy 2015 Moth Worlds, honing their skills, team bonding and generally coming to grips with the exciting foiling Moth. America’s Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) is no exception.

Dean Barker, Ray Davies, Glenn Ashby are experienced AC team members. The 2012 Olympic 49er silver medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke were added to the Team this time last year, their talent and flare an obvious asset, highlighted by Burling leading these Worlds by a large margin heading into tomorrow’s racing.

“We’re sailing against our crew mates from other classes, Olympic team mates and mates in the other America’s Cup Syndicates (Oracle Team USA, Artemis Racing and Luna Rossa),” Ashby, a sailmaker points out.

“It’s every man for himself, but once we’re ashore there’s lots of friendly banter and laughter,” says wing trimmer Ashby, who was head coach with Oracle’s 90ft trimaran for their 33rd America’s Cup win.

The Victorian-based sailor has more multihull world, national and state titles as a skipper than you can count on your fingers and toes. And he is a Tornado Olympic silver medallist from the 2000 Games with skipper Darren Bundock.

The whole idea of being at the McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds, Ashby says, “came from us (ETNZ) doing the A-Class Worlds last year in Takapuna, New Zealand, where Ashby won his eighth consecutive A-Class world title. Notably, Tuke and Burling were second and third respectively. Ray Davies was fifth. All were sailing foiling A-Cats.

“It’s good for team bonding, morale and developing as a group. It helps us technically too. The Moth is a step up. It’s a very technical boat,” Ashby says.

Explaining the principle of foiling in simple terms, Ashby says, “It’s like a plane, which needs air under its wings to lift off. With the Moth, it’s water flow that gets us up and foiling.”

The 37 year-old says the entire ETNZ team sails various classes. “You definitely have to sail as much as you can, because the America’s Cup game has changed vastly over the last two Cups. The Moth goes hand-in-hand with the America’s Cup.

While guys like Davies, Barker and Ashby are the experience of their AC team, Ashby says it’s great to have the young blood of Burling and Tuke.

“It’s fantastic having the young 49er guys (Burling is 23 and Tuke 25). We’re the experience and they bring a new perspective, dynamics, new skills and passion,” say Ashby, who has his team members and their families staying at his and his extended family’s homes. “The plan is to fast track to our experience level.”

On Oracle Team USA beating them in one of the biggest sporting comebacks of all time, when down 1-8 to ETNZ and winning eight races on the trot, Ashby said: “I don’t think we’ll ever get over it, but time heals.”

What brought them undone to an extent were the lay days. “We were in full maintenance mode during the lay days. They learned to sail their boat faster in that time. We didn’t get any worse, they just got better. They did a fantastic job. Every delay seemed to play into their hands. We nearly had it, until a race we were leading to win was abandoned that day.

“Losing was brutal and the people of New Zealand were brutal. When they love you and what you are doing, they really love you. But when things go wrong, well, they are brutal.

“But it’s still the best sailing I’ve ever done in my life. It was an amazing journey. We set the bar early on and kept it going. Not being able to finish it off was soul destroying,” Ashby openly admits.

“I take my hat off to the designers and engineers on both teams. They were impressive.”

Ashby says they are now looking forward to the next Cup. “Dalts (Grant Dalton) is still running the show. He’s a good leader and operator in every respect. He’s the guy who has to make the hard decisions, and he does because he is so passionate about the sport”.

So here they are at the McDougall + McConaghy 2015 International Moth World Championship and doing well. Burling is leading by 11 points with two days of racing left. Tuke is 13th, Ashby 15th, Davies 21st and Barker 29th.

“I hope I can move up the standings a bit. My boat got smashed into in one race, which left me out of the next. We’ll see…,” Ashby ends.

Full results, news, photos and video at: www.mothworlds.org/sorrento/

By Di Pearson, McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds Media

Battle of the boats

How technology won the America’s Cup: this 1 hour IPENZ lecture, hosted by Beca, was presented by two America’s Cup engineers who explained the technology behind the revolutionary AC72 boats and how Oracle made a miraculous comeback from 8-1 to 9-8, clawing back Team New Zealand’s lead to defy the odds and win.

Hear about the lessons learnt from each team in the 2013 America’s Cup series, rated as the best ever by rival Kiwi design engineers Andy Kensington, from Emirates Team New Zealand, and Neil Wilkinson, from Oracle Team US, as they toured the country visiting Whangarei, Tauranga, Dunedin, New Plymouth, Auckland and Napier in this IPENZ Centenary lecture from May 06 to May 22 2014.