Dean Barker on the helm - Emirates Team New Zealand. Day 13 of testing for the team’s first AC72. Hauraki Gulf, Auckland.
Emirates Team New Zealand's America's Cup skipper, Dean Barker, talks about the task ahead, as the realisation hits home that 2013 is the year of the America's Cup. There is no next year. And for the longest running America's Cup team, the options are running out, with some hard decisions yet to be made.
'You do sense the change in atmosphere around the base', he says. 'It is no longer next year. In ten month's time it's all over (sic).'
'We have to get Boat 2 up an running very quickly, and then we have just two months here, then we pack the boat up, and when we get to San Fran, it's game on.'
'We've got a huge amount left to do.
'In a normal America's Cup cycle we would still have at least a year to go, in terms of how green we are with the boat.
'You wouldn't normally contemplate launching a brand new concept boat, this close to the start of racing in the old environment.
'It's just brutal. You can afford any problems in engineering, manufacture or build. And as a sailing team we can't have any catastrophes that we create.'
Emirates Team New Zealand is expected to launch their second AC72 next week, and be sailing her three days later.
The new catamaran represents a lot of hard work by a lot of people – 60,000 plus hours of work, not counting the 50,000 hours of effort by the design department.
The yacht is being assembled at the team’s Viaduct Harbour base at Auckland. Photographer Chris Cameron checked out progress as the shore crew, sailing crew and contractors make the final push.