Dean Barker, Emirates Team NZ skipper and Director of Kiwi Yachting Consultants Nexus AB?nid=86875, reports from Cascais ahead of the start of the America's Cup World Series, in which he is helming Emirates Team NZ . 5 August 2011: Official Practice in Cascais
Today was the official practice racing before we get into the first weekend of this event. It is really a chance for both competitors and organisers to streamline their systems and get used to the new formats we are now into.
Today was three 20 min races followed by a final 'long course' of 40 minutes. We decided to do the first three races and do a couple of match race starts with Artemis instead of the final race of the day.
Things went really well for us in all three races leading pretty much from start to finish in all. The new reaching start places a high emphasis on getting off the line with good momentum so you get to the first mark in a strong position. It is very much a leaders course and when you get in front, providing you do not make too many mistakes, it is hard to get run down by the pack. However if you get caught up in the group the challenge will be trying to work your way back through the field.
Tomorrow we have three 20 min races followed by a time trial. The racing, although the first official day, counts for zero. Hard to figure out exactly the point of it but any racing is good racing for us at this point of the campaign.
All for now
Dean To read earlier editions of Dean Barker's blog click here?nid=86875