by Dean Barker
Skipper, Dean Barker - Emirates Team NZ - SL33 - 13 July, 2011
Dean Barker, Emirates Team NZ skipper and Director of www.kiwiyachting.co.nz!Kiwi_Yachting_Consultants_Nexus_AB, reports from Naples, Italy from the America's Cup World Series, in which he helms Emirates Team NZ .
9 April 2012:
We have now been in Naples for four days and it hasn't really been the weather we were hoping for. When it rains here it really rains!
On the plus side we have had a variety of conditions and have done some nice racing. Racing is one thing we are really lacking at the moment and you just kick yourself at times for making silly mistakes. But the practice is an important part of readying yourself for the fun ahead.
It is always tough to find the right balance in an AC campaign between the racing and the testing and development. Fast boats win races, but you need to be ready to race the boats well. You always need to prepare for the fact that the team you are racing will have at least an equal boat and it will come down to the racing. That is what you hope for as a sailor. Well truth is you would love to have a speed edge but in the end as long as you are not slower it is what you aim for.
The AC45 is a great training platform and I wish we could do more of it. Unfortunately there are only the five events for the year so we need to make the most of all the racing.
Well here we are in Naples, Italy for the first ACWS event of 2012. It has been five months since we last raced in San Diego and it feels like a long time ago. It is quite disappointing not to have been able to do more racing but it has been a real struggle to find venues.
Naples will be the first of five confirmed events for the year. After Naples there is Venice in May and then Newport RI for the final event of the first year of ACWS events. Season two kicks off with an event in San Fran in August and a second one in September. There was supposed to be eight events this year but again what was promised hasn't quite worked out that way.
Today we are heading out for a short sail to brush off the jet lag and look at some new sails. After a 30 hour trip we have found that the first day is normally a little unproductive. The plan is to do a bit of race practice tomorrow and then the Race Committee will be running some informal racing over the weekend. The forecast has a strong mistral developing on Saturday so there may be plenty of breeze around on Sunday.
All for now
To read earlier editions of Dean Barker's blog http://www.kiwiyachting.co.nz/dean-barkers-blog!click_here