Emirates Team New Zealand sailing in the last fleet race of the America’s Cup World Series, San Francisco regatta.
The Emirates Team New Zealand sailing crew barely paused when they returned to the dock after the final day of the ACWS San Francisco regatta.
They had showers and a quick change of clothes before grabbing taxis to San Francisco airport for the overnight flight to Auckland where the AC72 awaits.
Skipper Dean Barker says he aims to have the big cat on the water on Wednesday if the weather is suitable.
'We have to make the most of the 21 days that we have left to sail the 72 before the end of January. '
Some long days are in prospect. 'We will be cracking the whip – not wasting a minute of the time available.
The Emirates Team New Zealand AC72 is still the only one sailing regularly. Oracle has been out for short periods three times and is expected to make more regular appearances soon.
The Artemis boat, still in a shed at Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, is expected to sailing in a couple of weeks. Luna Rossa will launch at Auckland later this month.
Barker: 'We look forward to seeing Luna Rossa on Auckland harbour. They will need a number of good sailing days to feel comfortable with the biggerboat and in November will practice with us.'
In San Francisco this week, media talk was of Emirates Team New Zealand stealing a march on its rivals by launching first and getting in some solidsailing before the others got going.
That’s not necessarily a view shared by the team. Barker said simply, 'We’ll see.'
After finishing fourth overall in the San Francisco fleet racing championship, following the final of the match racing, Barker said: 'We sailed better, but we still need to better understand conditions in San Francisco.
'We have raced two regattas on the top-half of the 2013 America’s Cup course area and feel more comfortable. Our ‘local knowledge’ - San Francisco yachtsman - Dee smith was a massive help.
'When we move up here in May next year we still have to have some good-quality sailing on the bottom half of the longer America’s Cup course.'
Barker revealed that the team will ship its AC45 back to Auckland, as will Luna Rossa, 'We need to spend more time with it because while the America’s Cup will be all about the AC72, we still have to race the 45 well.'
ACWS World San Francisco fleet racing championship
1. Oracle 4 (Spithill) 8-1-6-5-DNF-2-1 – 79
2. BAR (Ainslie) 1-3-1-2-4-1-4 – 79 points
3. Artemis White (Hutchinson) 10-2-2-1-3-3-3 – 72
4. Emirates Team New Zealand 2-8-5-6-1-4-7 – 57
5. Oracle 5 (Coutts) 3-5-8-7-8-10-2 – 56
6. Artemis Red (Outteridge) 4-4-4-4-9-8-5 – 52
7. Energy Team (Peyron) 6-7-7-3-6-7-6 – 47
8. Team Korea (Burling) 5-9-10-8-2-5-10 – 40
9. Luna Rossa Piranha (Draper) 9-6-3-10-10-6-9 – 36
10. China Team (Robertson) 7-10-11-9-5-11-8 – 28
11. Luna Rossa Swordfish (Martinez) 11-11-9-11-7-9-11 – 20
(Scoring, Races 1-6: first = 12 points, second = 10, third = 9, fourth = 8, fifth = 7, sixth = 6, seventh = 5, eighth = 4, ninth = 3, 10th = 2, 11th = 1; Race 7: first = 40 points, second = 25, third = 20, fourth = 16, fifth = 13, sixth = 11, seventh = 10, eighth = 9, ninth = 8, 10th = 7, 11th = 6)
ACWS San Francisco match racing championship
1. Oracle 4
2. Emirates Team New Zealand
3. Artemis White
4. Artemis Red
5 Oracle 5
6. Energy Team
8. Team Korea
9. China Team
10. Luna Rossa Piranha
11. Luna Rossa Swordfish