by Dean Barker
Emirates Team NZ sailing on San Francisco Bay
T Writing on his blog on http://www.kiwiyachting.co.nz/dean-barkers-blog!Kiwi_Yachting_Consultants, of which he is a substantial shareholder and director, skipper Dean Barker gives his views of the return to the Bay.
Back into action
After having four days off at the completion of the Round Robin stage, we got back on the water yesterday to begin our preparations for the LV Finals.
This starts on the 17 August so we are just under two weeks out. Our opponent will be either Artemis or Luna Rossa who will battle it out in their semi final starting Tuesday.
While we had a four day break the shore crew have been working very hard on implementing a number of changes and modifications to the boat. We hope the net result will be a decent jump in our performance around the course and will be testing a number of these things over the next few days.
We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and motivated shore crew. They put in massive hours to make sure the boat we are sailing is prepared to the highest standards. I am always incredibly appreciative of the effort they put in so that our boat is able to be sailed hard in the demanding conditions on the Bay.
Today was an interesting day for us. The plan had been to do some testing and then a number of practice starts with Luna Rossa. Unfortunately they had a couple of small issues and had to head in. Artemis were out on the course area so we managed to arrange some start practice with them. It was certainly interesting to finally sail against them even though they are a month late being ready for racing. Given the few days they have had to sail they are doing a good job of getting the boat out on the water and it was good for us to have some practice against another team.
We finished our day off with a couple of laps in some pretty exciting San Fran conditions. The breeze had built into the mid 20's and with a strong ebb tide it made for some incredibly exciting sailing. It is an amazing venue and incredibly challenging. Still lots for us to learn.
All for now