NZL Sailing Team with ETNZ Update: Burling talks about the upcoming challenge
On Sunday 1st September racing in San Francisco will commence for the inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup and today the skippers of all ten teams, including both New Zealand entries, came under the media spotlight at the official opening press conference.
Peter Burling, skipper for NZL Sailing Team with ETNZ, the team backed by Rodd & Gunn for this regatta, talked today about the recent build up and the challenge that lies ahead.
“We flew into San Francisco about three weeks ago on the 8th of August and it’s been pretty flat out since then. There’s no shore crew for us so we’ve been doing all the boat work and the training too so it’s been really busy times,” says Burling.
The team were excited to get out on the water and to make the most of the time available on the AC45 prior to competition; “We’ve done a few practice races over the last few days, we’ve been up and down, and we’re just trying to get our heads in the game. We are really happy with the speed and the handling. There are just a few simple things we have to get right on the day to make it all come together.”
Burling believes the racing and the competition will be close; “If anyone performs well on the day they will be right up there. I think it’s actually going to be quite a tight event.”
“There’s a little bit more weighting on that last race, but it will be like any normal contest where consistency comes through. We’re here to win it, that’s the main goal. That’s what we’re aiming at.”
Skipper of the second New Zealand team in San Francisco, known as FMJ Racing, Will Tiller says; “As soon as the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup got announced we’ve been fully committed to this and everyone on our team has got into the multihulls. It’s been a steep learning curve but I think the boys are making the most of it and this month we’ve really come together strong and we’re hoping to put on a good show on the racing days.”
The regatta, being sailed in the AC45 wing sailed catamarans, runs across four consecutive days starting Sunday September 1st. There will be two fleet races sailed each day starting at 1100 hours local time in San Francisco, each intended to be around 25 minutes long with a 30 minute break in between.
Using a high point scoring system, the first seven races have equal points weighting with 10 points for 1st, 9 points for 2nd and so on. The final eighth race is worth double points.
Practice racing images here.
Watch the racing live from 0600hours New Zealand time on www.tvnz.co.nz/americascup
ACEA / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget