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NZL Sailing Team in good shape after Bermuda training

12
April
2017
by Michael Brown

The NZL Sailing Team picked a dramatic couple of weeks to train in Bermuda.

(The NZL Sailing Team got some invaluable experience on one of the AC45s that will be used for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup. Photo / Red Bull)

Not only did Artemis severely damage their test boat and Oracle capsize while the NZL Sailing Team were out training, but they also discovered two of their rival Red Bull Youth America's Cup teams also training in Bermuda sent sailors to hospital after incidents on the water.

NZL Sailing Team skipper Logan Dunning Beck admitted they had a couple of "interesting moments" when training on the Great Sound but said he was really pleased with how they performed considering everything going on around them. 

"There were plenty of near-capsizes during practice racing, so our racing [in June] is going to be pretty spectacular," he said. "We were probably pushing harder than most [Youth America's Cup] teams and we are really happy with our control.

"It has definitely become more real. When you see the AC50s on the water, they are pretty spectacular and also pretty dangerous for everyone on the Sound with them charging around."

The NZL Sailing Team for the first time got their hands on the AC45s they will use for the June regatta, which are the same boats the America's Cup teams used during the America's Cup World Series. After a few days training on the Great Sound on their own, they held a series of practice races with other Youth America's Cup teams.

Many of these were highly controlled, with teams required to do a certain number of manouevres and the Kiwi team showed good speed. It has left them feeling more confident about their chances of emulating the NZL Sailing Team of 2013 who won the inaugural Red Bull Youth America's Cup.

"We are in a really good place right now," Dunning Beck said. "We were really fast around the race track, our manouevres were swift and our teamwork really cohesive. We still have a lot of areas we can improve but a lot of those are relatively simple to address."

The biggest area that needs improvement is their starts, something particularly crucial in fleet racing. 

But that will have to wait with half of the eight-strong team soon heading offshore again. 

Micah Wilkinson (Nacra) and Isaac McHardie (49er) are heading to France for the World Cup in Hyeres and Josh Salthouse and Stewart Dodson will be travelling to China for the next round of the Extreme Sailing Series. The squad will then all come together at the end of April and will all be based in Auckland for training on a foiling GC32 until they head to Bermuda in early June.

11 Apr 2017
12 Apr 2017