Emirates Team New Zealand crew got on to the water today for their first and only practice session for the Qingdao round of the Extreme Sailing Series.
It was a case of the crew getting acquainted. Peter Burling at the helm for this regatta and his Olympic 49er crewmate Blair Tuke had never sailed before with Glenn Ashby, Jeremy Lomas and Edwin Delaat.
So there was a bit of getting used to each other – and trying to get a handle on how everyone thinks.
As Peter Burling said: 'We spent the day trying to get the combinations going. It takes a while to know instinctively what everyone’s thinking and what they’re going to do next.'
They may be strangers as a crew but Burling and Ashby are no strangers to the Qingdao venue. They sailed there during the 2008 Olympics so the light breeze on practice day came as no surprise.
The forecast for the first race day is a little more promising. With up to eight races every day – depending on conditions – the 12 competing teams will live race-by-race.
The short courses and the expected light conditions will provide little opportunity for crews to recover from the inevitable mistakes.
Emirates Team New Zealand is lying third on the series points table after two regattas.
Reqatta organisers advised today that due to media and internet restrictions in China they will not be able to run live streaming on the Extreme Sailing Series web site.
They intend to upload the race coverage (racing finishes at 1700 local time, GMT+8) on Extreme Sailing Series YouTube channel retrospectively Friday, Saturday and Sunday after racing. Files will be named: Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 3 Qingdao, (day 1, 2, 3) Race replay.