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Barker expecting plenty of action in America's Cup World Series

by Warren Douglas on 10 Sep 2011
Emirates Team New Zealand in a practice race for the America’s Cup World Series Plymouth Regatta. Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Emirates Team New Zealand made final preparations on Friday for the start of the Plymouth regatta of the America’s Cup World Series.

Racing is due to start Saturday afternoon, and the breeze is forecast to be rather stronger than Friday’s light southerly that barely moved the flags on shore.

Teams can expect south-westerlies of 20-25 knots on Saturday; near gale force winds and heavy rain on Sunday morning, with the rain reducing to showers in the afternoon.

The heavy winds are forecast to continue on Monday and Tuesday.

On Friday, the team started the day watching the World Rugby Cup opening match between the All Blacks and Tonga.

Later in the morning the traditional pre-regatta media conference was held, attended by the nine skippers and the media contingent which has descended on Plymouth.

'I think if we get some good breeze it will make for some pretty exciting racing,' said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker.

'It's demanding on the guys and the excitement factor goes up quickly towards the top end of the wind range...

On these boats, you go pretty quickly from racing to survival and I'm sure if we get the strong winds there will be plenty of good action.'

Barker predicted some 'snakes and ladders' racing: 'We're sailing close to the shore, in puffy conditions, which will be challenging, so there will be position changes - big gains and losses around the race course. It makes it tough but the teams try to make the most of every situation.'

In the afternoon, the team took the AC45 out on Plymouth Sound for some final practice. The breeze was light and the fine drizzle

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