Emirates Team New Zealand has dual international missions early next month as the pace hots up for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013.
In a rather pointed statement the team, who are also competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, starting in 100 days time have advised that they will be competing the following two catamaran regattas:
· At Cascais, Portugal, the team competes in the first of the America’s Cup World Series pre-regattas, starting on August 6.
· The fifth regatta of the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series starts at Cowes, England, on the same day.
Ashby, Ray Davies, Winston Macfarlane and Dean Barker will represent New Zealand at Cascais, racing the team’s AC45 catamaran against nine other yachts.
At Cowes, Adam Beashel will race with Chris Ward, Richard Meacham and Andy McLean in the Extreme 40 catamaran.
Emirates Team New Zealand has been a steady improver in the Extreme Sailing Series this year. A fourth overall at the season’s opener at Muscat was followed by two second placings - at Istanbul, Turkey and Qingdao, China - and then a win at Boston earlier this month. The team now leads the series ahead of Swedish team Artemis.
Adam Beashel, whose first Extreme 40 regatta was at Boston, will be skipper at Cowes. His crew has never raced together on an Extreme 40. In fact skipper Beashel has done only one Extreme 40 regatta, as has Richard Meacham.
Chris Ward has never previously raced an Extreme 40 although Andy McLean, currently a member of the CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand Volvo Ocean Race sailing crew, has done a couple of Extreme 40 regattas.
The Extreme Sailing Series is a valuable training ground for the sailing team as they make the transition from a monohull to multihull racing team and it’s regarded as the leading multihull event in the world.
Dean Barker says, the regattas – five days of quick-fire fleet racing in confined waters – has taught them a lot about cat handling, what they can get away with and what they can’t.
'When we lined up for the first start at Almeria last year, we had no real appreciation of what was required to race multihulls successfully.
'Now we do. We still have a long list of areas that need work but we are making good progress. Our results this year in the Extreme Sailing Series have been the reward.'
'Our tactics, crew work, starts, mark roundings and ability to deal successfully with close encounters that require split-second decisions are improving all the time. '