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America's Cup - Ashby expects Kiwis to sailing by weekend in Bermuda

by Talbot Wilson/Sail-World.com on 20 Apr
Emirates Team NZ sailing at pace two cyclists per side on their way to their "training paddock" to the east of Brown's Island - Emirates Team NZ - Waitemata Harbour - March 22, 2017 Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
Emirates Team New Zealand skipper, Glenn Ashby has revealed that the team expect to be on the water in Bermuda this weekend.

In a long interview with Bermudan newspaper Royal Gazette's Talbot Wilson, Ashby covered many issues.

The New Zealand team's AC50 arrived in Bermuda just over a week ago, having had their last sail in Auckland on March 28, and will have been out of action for almost three weeks despite having flown to Bermuda via Emirates Sky Cargo - a trip made in 36 hours and avoiding a six week trip by sea.

On recommissioning and the first sail:
“Hopefully, on Saturday we’ll get on the water. Re-commissioning the boat has been a lot of work.

“Getting all the electronics and hydraulics back together, and getting all the wiring and cabling done.

“We’ve had to change a few cable runs. Some little upgrades were added, but it’s mostly recommissioning.”

“The wing is back together. The bike grinding units have gone in,” he added. “There’s a whole lot going back together quickly.”


Sailing with two grinders per side:
“In different situations we have two guys on a side,” Ashby said. “In pre-start we’ll be putting two guys on a side at times.

“When we tack or gybe, we’ll be getting people over early. For all the teams you see photos with guys on both sides of the boat. We’re no different”

Practice Session Sailing:
“We’d like to do the next practice racing period, but we’ll still be doing recommissioning in the early part of the week. We may do our own thing for the first couple of days. We’ll see how we go later in the week. We’ll see how the recommissioning goes.”

No mainsheet sailing:
“You have different controls, but you are trying to achieve the same sort of things ... either increasing or decreasing power based on the mode you are sailing. You change the wing based on the mode.”

“We never go more than a second or two without touching the wing, changing the trim. We are pretty much making constant adjustments. We use buttons [and hydraulic power] to adjust the wing. It feels kind of weird not holding on to as rope on a boat, but that’s the world we live in.”


Calling tactics:
“I think including Pete [Peter Burling, the helmsman and recent Olympic champion] and myself we’ve actually got four guys on the yacht who will be involved in the tactical side of things.”

“We’ve tried to set the boat up so Pete can get his head out and have a look around. I consider myself in sort of a trimming role, focused on speed and the accuracy of the boat sailing. But I’ll poke my head out, too, and have a look around myself.”

Start keypoints and priorities:
“Getting the right position on the line so you can be inside on the first turn will be important.

“It is pretty hard to go around the outside, but it depends on the set-up of the line and how windy it is and how the pre-start actually goes. For sure you want to get the inside like motocross. You want to get the hull shot. You don’t want to get mud on your goggles.

“At the end of the day, you’ve got to be fast in a straight line.

“Your crew work has to be impeccable; but all will have excellent crew work by the time racing starts. It will come down to performance. I think the fastest boat will win.”

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