EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND PREPARE TO RACE ON THE RED SEA
Emirates Team New Zealand are set up and ready to race in Jeddah for the America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta presented by NEOM after a rip-roaring introduction to racing on the Red Sea with 13-15 knots from the NW which saw the fleet of AC40’s light up during an initial day of testing.
The shore crew have been busy for the past week under the hot Arabian sun, setting up the team base and assembling Te Kakahi back into race mode in the Jeddah Yacht Club and Marina on Jeddah’s stunning foreshore.
The sailing team have been eager to get back out on the racetrack after being on the wrong side of victory by the slimmest of margins in Vilanova back in September.
Skipper Peter Burling is relishing the opportunity to get racing again.
“It was an amazing first taste of sailing here in Jeddah, the racing is right off the foreshore, our team base and the event village is literally metres away from the tide the conditions look incredible. The racetrack is right there. So, we are really excited about the week ahead.”
It will be the first time the teams have lined up since Vilanova, so all the teams will be wanting to come away at the top of the fleet after the scheduled three days of racing and have all been preparing accordingly.
“Alinghi Red Bull Racing has been based in Jeddah sailing their two AC40’s for a few weeks, and they have been raving about the conditions. Ineos have been out on the water since Thursday, and the other teams all getting out for some practice sessions as soon as they could.
For us we have been making the most of our AC40 testing and development in New Zealand, so we are coming in a little hot, but certainly great to get out on the Red Sea with the team again. We were straight into some good racing action.”
The Emirates Team New Zealand sailing team line up remains unchanged with Peter Burling and Nathan Outteridge on starboard and port helms respectively and Andy Maloney and Blair Tuke as trimmers. On standby as reserve sailors are Josh Junior and Andy Maloney.
The weather forecast from team meteologist Roger ’Clouds’ Badham is shaping up to be as ideal as conditions have been promised for the first major sailing event on the Red Sea.
8-13 knots from the NW, sunny and 30 degrees.
Perfect conditions for the fleet of 6 AC40’s to light up racing just off the waterfront in front of the event village, on Jeddah’s Corniche.
The Jeddah America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta presented by NEOM event schedule is:
Wednesday 29 November: Official Practice Race Day.
Thursday 30 November: First Day of Racing (3 x Fleet Races) 1330-1530 Local time / 2330- 0130 NZT
Friday 1 December: Second Day of Racing (3 x Fleet Races) 1330-1530 Local time / 2330- 0130 NZT
Saturday 2 December: Third & Final Day of Racing (2 x Fleet Races & 1 x Final Match Race) 1330-1530 Local time / 2330- 0130 NZT