Team NZ brace for ‘bru­tal’ rac­ing

Central Leader - - WHAT’S ON - DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

Time is the en­emy of Team New Zealand as much as the pry­ing eyes of five Amer­ica’s Cup ri­vals as they count­down to what they ex­pect to be ‘‘bru­tal’’ rac­ing in Ber­muda.

The Kiwi syn­di­cate are adamant they have learned from the painful lessons of the 2013 re­gatta in San Fran­cisco where they pi­o­neered foil­ing but ran out of de­vel­op­ment.

A month af­ter launch­ing their rad­i­cal pedal-pow­ered 50-foot cata­ma­ran, ideas and sys­tems are be­ing con­stantly tweaked by Team NZ in test­ing and train­ing.

‘‘You’ll never have enough time be­cause the more you sail the more you learn, the more you want to change. You just have to try to fit as much as you can into the small space of time,’’ Team NZ’s chief op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer Kevin Shoe­bridge says.

‘‘There is no short­age of de­vel­op­ment and ideas. But all the teams will be like that, they all re­alise that un­less you de­velop up till the last day, you are go­ing to get caught.’’

Sea tri­als have con­vinced Team NZ they are on to some­thing spe­cial with their switch to leg-power to pro­vide the juice for the gi­ant wing­sail, foil ad­just­ments and con­trol sys­tems. But un­wanted eyes are an ac­cepted part of the game now. Team NZ’s ev­ery move is be­ing watched, just as they have their own peo­ple watch­ing their ri­vals in Ber­muda.

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