Team NZ brace for ‘brutal’ racing
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.