by Dean Barker
Emirates Team NZ sailing past Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay, before the start of the ACWS
Dean Barker, Emirates Team NZ skipper and Director of www.kiwiyachting.co.nz!Kiwi_Yachting_Consultants_and_Nexus_AB, reports from San Francisco, USA from the America's Cup World Series, in which he helms Emirates Team NZ .
18 August 2012: Five AC 45's - But who is counting?
Well here we are in SF a little under a year out from the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup. How much has changed since my last Blog. Since Newport we have fully commissioned our AC72 yacht, had a launching party, and more importantly had three days out sailing on the new boat. And what a boat!! The sheer size and power is quite amazing and as the breeze level increases so to does the excitement factor.
Today was our first day on the water sailing catamarans in SF. We have talked a lot about what it is like and our experiences sailing on the Bay, but nothing really compares to getting out there and sailing a boat that we know from other events. We were a day late getting on the water after the organizing authority had not finalized all the required consents which is quite hard to believe. So the wharf was shut down for the weekend until the consents could be rushed through. Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come, and it is a long way for the Event to be ready. Compared to Valencia a year before the Event it is a long long way behind.
The sailing was great today and a great experience to start sailing in the stronger breezes again. Naturally we were pretty rusty compared to some of the opposition. We trained with Artemis who are now one of three Teams to have two boats. They have been doing a lot of sailing here in the last few weeks in the 45 and you can see they are just better organized than we are on day 1. I am sure with some more practice over the next few days we will get back into the swing of things but it does take time.
Oracle will become the first Team to field three boats at this event. They have Ben Ainslie starting his campaign as part of their Team. Quite impressive to think they now own five AC45's. Nice problem to have!
We will be back out on the water tomorrow to do some more practice. Getting used to these conditions are important, and translating them back to sailing the AC72 will be valuable in the long run.
To read earlier editions of Dean Barker's blog http://www.kiwiyachting.co.nz/dean-barkers-blog!click_here