An advance party of Emirates Team New Zealand crew fly out this week to head up to Southampton in the UK to begin assembly of the teams AC45’F’ in preparation for the first America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth next month.
The AC45’F’ was converted at the team base in Auckland from the non foiling America’s Cup World Series catamaran in March before being loaded into a container destined for Europe.
Perhaps the three team members most excited to get back onboard again will be the those that last sailed the team’s AC45: Peter Burling, Blair Tuke and Guy Endean who made up half of the victorious Red Bull Youth America’s Team from San Francisco in 2013.
“It will be awesome to get out on the water with the guys on the foiling 45. Last time we sailed this boat we had a great time winning the Red Bull youth AC, it was an amazing experience but back then it wasn’t a foiler,” said helmsman Peter Burling.
“Foiling will certainly add a new dimension to the crew dynamics and the racing, and that’s definitely one of the things we will be working on at our training camp.”
It’s a fresh new look for the Emirates Team New Zealand crew, add a few of the most sought after and experienced sailors in the America’s Cup into the mix and the team has some fierce potential.
Onboard will be Sailing Team Director Glenn Ashby, Ray Davies and along with Richard Meacham will be the experienced heads in building the crew to take on the competition in the America’s Cup World Series and beyond.
The boats in this 35th America’s Cup require only a crew of six to race, just over half of what it took to sail the AC72, so the requirement for such a large team of sailors is reduced.
“We will have 9 sailors as part of the training camp in Southampton and the guys are hugely excited about getting the AC45 set up and out on the water foiling around for the first time. For me the real excitement is going to be in sailing onboard with a solid crew of ultra talented sailors who have some really successful track records.” said Ashby.
Excitingly there will be a few completely new faces being given the opportunity to trial with the team to fill the ‘big guy’ spots onboard, with successful track records in Olympic classes, match racing, Extreme 40’s and the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.