34th America’s Cup - AC45 Test Event - Day 9
With the conclusion of the America's Cup test sessions in Auckland, most teams are in pack-up mode, heading for Europe.
The weekend in Auckland has been devoted to dis-assembling the AC45s and their wings, and fitting them into shipping containers for the move from Auckland.
Part of the design brief for the AC45 was that it be easy to ship. With removable sterns on both hulls, the canoe bodies of the catamarans just squeeze into a standard 40 foot shipping container. The wings too get pulled apart and before long, the high-tech racing catamarans are ready for transport.
Artemis Racing and China Team are shipping to Valencia where they'll do some more testing before heading to the first America's Cup World Series event in Cascais, Portugal.
'We will do a training camp in Valencia and then we're on to Cascais for the first AC World Series,' said Santi Lange, helmsman and design team liaison for Artemis Racing. 'So there's plenty on, and right now we are very happy with how things are running for our team.'
ORACLE Racing is striking camp in New Zealand as well, and is also planning another training period ahead of Cascais.
Emirates Team New Zealand is the exception. The team will remain in Auckland for a few more weeks.
'We're going to continue sailing here for a bit longer,' said skipper Dean Barker. 'We'll sail as long as we can, pack up and send the boat directly to Cascais to get ready for the first event in August.'
For the race organizers, the coming weeks will focus on debriefings to distill lessons learned from the Auckland test sessions. The test events enabled teams to provide ongoing input to event organizers, as well as to each other.
'It was a real open book. Everyone is trying to achieve the same goal, so all the competitors worked together as well as one group, so the more we do that, the more chance we've got of making a polished product,' said James Spithill, Skipper, ORACLE Racing. 'I think we're leaving here with a couple of great systems.'
The race management, umpiring and media teams are now planning additional testing sessions in Europe and North America as they too get ready for opening day for the inaugural AC World Series event and the start of the 34th America's Cup.