by Dean Barker
Dean Barker (left) with Tom Cruise and son Conner, and Emirates Team NZ grinder, Grant Dalton (right)
Emirates Team New Zealand have sailed their last race in the Louis Vuitton Cup Round Robins. 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 day.
Tom Cruise comes for a sail
Today we had our final round robin race with Luna Rossa. We sailed a good race although it felt this was not our best performance to date. These boats are punishing on any little mistakes and although we suffered only minor ones you know we could have been better.
The highlight of the day for me and the rest of the Team was having Tom Cruise and his son Connor out watching our race from the chase boat and then asking to come for a sail afterwards. He was seriously buzzing as we blasted around the Bay at over 40 knots although this was a far cry short of his Top Gun days! It is always a great boost for the Team when you get the opportunity to host someone like Tom who is so well known and such a household name.
Today we also had the press conference for us to determine whether we would choose to advance directly to the LV Finals or decide to participate in the semi final and choose our opponent there. There was the incentive if we went down the semi final route that we would get some extra racing, however on balance we decided it much better use of our time to advance to the LV Finals which commence on the 17th August.
Over the next week the boat will undergo a number of modifications which we hope will improve our performance around the track. Although it is still some time to we race again we have a lot we need to work on with both our performance and the way we race the boat. It is amazing how quickly the days get burnt up.
A day of debriefings tomorrow and then some time to recover before the next push
All for now
Emirates Team New Zealand takes Tom Cruise for a ride on NZL5 after the Round Robin 5 race against luna Rossa. Louis Vuitton Cup 2013. San Francisco. 28/7/2013