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Emirates Team NZ set the pace at Cascais, and tunes-up at Cowes

by Warren Douglas on 6 Aug 2011
Emirates Team New Zealand during the rehearsal races - Practice Day, Cascais - America’s Cup World Series 2011 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Emirates Team New Zealand took to the water at Cascais on Friday, official practice day for the America’s Cup World Series regatta.

Nine AC45 yachts from eight teams lined up for three short fleet races on the Practice Day in the America's Cup World Series in Cascais, Portugal.

As skipper Dean Barker commented, the day counted for nothing, except to provide an excellent opportunity to check in with the opposition before the first regatta of the build-up to the 34th America’s Cup.

The breeze was a good, a steady eight to 15 knots, and for Barker and crew of James Dagg, Winston Macfarlane, Glenn Ashby and Ray Davies it was the start of a journey that will lead to San Francisco in 2013.

'We had a great day,' Barker said. 'We got away cleanly in all three races and pretty much led from start to finish. No points were at stake, but it was a good preparation for the next two days of racing.'

He said the team felt that the months of practice and trialling on the AC45 – and racing at the sharp end in the Extreme Sailing Series regattas – had provided a solid foundation for the regatta.

'Today was very encouraging for the team but we still came ashore with a long list of things to work on.'

Racing tomorrow starts at 2pm. Three 20-minute fleet races will be held, followed by the AC 500 speed trial, effectively a 500-metre sprint in a straight line.

On Sunday one 40-minute fleet race will be held. Monday and Tuesday are lay days and will be followed by the regatta proper, five days of intense racing that ends the following Sunday.

Extreme Sailing Series:

Today was media day at Cowes, England, as 12 Extreme 40 teams took to the Solent for practice races ahead of tomorrow's regatta.

The crew on ETNZ, which features a new line up from the last event have been training in Cowes since Tuesday as they prepare for Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series.

Racing kicks off at 3pm (UK time) tomorrow, Saturday August 6. The team's can expect a moderate 13 - 16 knot south-westerly breeze with the potential for gusts of more than 20 knots.

The emirates Team New Zealand crew at Cowes, is Skipper/helm: Adam Beashel, tactician: Richard Meacham, trimmer: Andrew McLean (NZL) and bowman Chris Ward.

Racing will be broadcast live from Sunday to Tuesday (7, 8 & 9 August) at

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