Dean's Diary- Reporting in from Cascais ahead of the start of the ACWS

03/08/2011 - Cascais (POR) - 34th America’s Cup - AC World Series - Cascais 2011 - Emirates Team New Zealand - - America’s Cup World Series, Cascais, 3 August 2011

Dean Barker, Emirates Team NZ skipper and Director of!Kiwi_Yachting_Consultants_Nexus_AB, reports from Cascais ahead of the start of the America's Cup World Series, in which he is helming Emirates Team NZ .

5 August 2011: Practice in Cascais

Today was our 4th day of practice in the AC45 here in Portugal. We have had a fairly varied range of conditions which has been good for getting up to speed with the different manoeuvres and general setups.

We have also been experiencing the new courses that Oracle have decided will be used for the next AC. It is quite different from what we have known in the past. It is a reaching start followed by a downwind, upwind, downwind, and upwind to finish. This course will be used for both fleet racing for the 45's as well as the match racing for both 45 and 72. There are a number of different dynamics we have to get used to and it has been interesting to see how the courses change different tactical situations.

The race committee have been busy running races over the last few days and tomorrow will be a full dress rehearsal for racing on Saturday.

2 August 2011: Croatia

I am sitting here in Cascais, Portugal preparing for our 2nd day of practice before the AC45 World Series kicks of this coming weekend. It is truly an amazing setup with containers, boats and people in all directions. The ACRM vision is certainly BIG and hopefully it all works out well.

On the way to Portugal I stopped in Split, Croatia for the launch of the new Salona 38 which is a new model for the Salona Boats range. Salona produce a performance cruiser range with some beautifully built yachts.

The reason for my visit was to promote a new relationship between Nexus and Salona. Salona have very similar values to Nexus and are a great fit for our company.

While in Split I went for a test sail on the prototype 38. It was the first time I have stepped aboard a monohull since I got off NZL 84 in Dubai in November last year during the LV Trophy. To say it felt a little strange was an understatement. The speeds with which we have become accustomed to in the different multi classes we have been sailing made this feel a little pedestrian. However the 38 was very nice to steer, very well balanced, and certainly a lot more comfortable than what I have experienced over the last 10 months! All for now from Cascais

To read earlier editions of Dean Barker's blog!click_here