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Team New Zealand back on song... Ashby leads A-Class in France

by . on 27 Jun 2014
Reach for the Sky - Chris Nicholson - Day 3: A-class Catamarans European Championship, Bordeaux, France Paula Kopylowicz /
Welcome to’s New Zealand e-magazine for June 27, 2014

Taking a different tack, on Wednesday afternoon, Emirates Team New Zealand announced that they were still in the America's Cup game.

Different because this announcement came in the form of a media release only, and there was little said publicly by the team.

The low-key approach seemed to outrun their critics, who were deprived of an opportunity to resume their pack-attack of less than a fortnight past.

Just before the Kiwi's announcement the Swedish Challenger, or rather potential Challenger, Artemis Racing (SWE) set out their concerns over the Cup and its Protocol in an interview with top yachting commentator, Matthew Sheahan (GBR).

That's a lot softer way of getting your message into the market than holding a media conference for some clearly focussed on bringing a team down.

There has been little reaction to the Artemis comments. No phone calls to Radio Sweden taking their team to task. No onslaughts on Swedish TV suggesting that a change of team management is required if they didn't like the latest chart for the 35th America's Cup.

Artemis echoed many of the concerns that had been said before - the venue selection, particular disappointed at losing San Francisco, and the wind options on those said to be in the running. Also being questioned is the early elimination of teams with the split Qualifying venues and system. 'To have events in two different parts of the world seems a completely unnecessary cost,' was one comment.

Staying in the same frame, they note that the regatta cannot stand consecutive lost days due to lack of wind, or wind from the wrong direction. Clearly Artemis are placing sailing criteria above the financial drivers of the Commercial Cup. In this edition, we feature an extract from the interview and a link to the full story. It is a very interesting read.

Like the other Challengers, America's Cup intent teams have been announced, but no Challenges lodged. That's the America's Cup equivalent of voting with your feet.

In the last America's Cup, fans will recall that when entries opened, two teams entered on the crack of midnight. There was even a Jury Hearing over which team had entered first. The reason for their haste was the fact that Challenges have to be dealt with in order of receipt. If the current Challenger of Record withdraws (as happened last time), then the next Challenger in queue steps into the recently vacated docksiders of the Challenger of Record, and picks up their right of Veto on rule and Protocol changes.

Potential entrants seem to be keeping their powder very dry for some reason.

Reptilian elements of the NZ media still seem intent on their campaign to pull Team New Zealand own at every opportunity. Despite a good news story that the Team had found funding to proceed into 2015 without the need for further NZ Govt advance money, we have the usual re-hashing of the old negative lines. It seems that each new development is just a coat-hook on which some media can hang their worn prejudices.

For the rest of this editorial click here

On the positive side, two Emirates Team NZ sailing teams are in operation at present.

In St Petersburg, Russia, Peter Burling is once again skippering in the Extreme Sailing Series, which is taking place on the river. After the first day, the team is in fourth overall, competing in a fleet of 12 including several America's Cup teams. The series is lead once again by Alinghi.

In France, Emirates Team NZ wingsail trimmer, Glenn Ashby leads the 75 boat fleet in the European A-Class Championships. His skipper Dean Barker is up to fifth place on the leaderboard, having had a good third day when the breeze came in, and the foiling catamarans could strut their stuff. The team's Volvo skipper, Chris Nicholson, is currently in 12th place overall - another good performance.

Stay tuned to our website for the latest developments.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

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