America’s Cup: Kiwi Team Likes Wearing Target
Published on February 26th, 2016
(February 26, 2016) – The America’s Cup teams return to the race course on February 27-28 at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Muscat, Oman. Current overall leaders, Emirates Team New Zealand, will be looking to continue their dominance on the water in the one-design foiling AC45 class.
It’s the middle of winter in Oman, yet temperatures are topping 30 degrees Celsius and the wind is forecast to be very light during the competition.
“It sure is an interesting place here in Muscat, but more interesting will be the racing over the next few days,” Glenn Ashby said. “It is certainly going to be on the lighter side of the scale. The current forecast has the breeze peaking at 12 knots over the weekend, so the style of racing and the techniques and tactics are going to be more like what we saw in Gothenburg than in Bermuda, less foiling and more traditional light wind multi hull sailing.”
In Gothenburg, the Kiwi team dominated the fleet in the light conditions of the double points final day racing, something they’d like to repeat in Muscat.
“With the forecast, and our result in Gothenburg, and leading the series overall you know the other teams are going to be watching us closely,” admitted Ashby. “The targets will be on our backs, but if they are looking at the targets on our backs then it means they are behind us so that’s just fine with me.”
The Emirates Team New Zealand crew will have Glenn Ashby (Skipper/Wing Trimmer), Peter Burling (Helmsman), Ray Davies (Tactician), Blair Tuke (Trimmer), and Guy Endean (Grinder).
“In saying that, all of the other teams are incredibly strong and light conditions can be incredibly tricky and cruel so all of us on the boat, Ray, Peter, Blair, Guy and myself are going to have to be right on our game if we are wanting to finish this event still on top of the leaderboard, which obviously is our main priority this weekend.”
The event schedule has three races on Saturday and three crucial double points races on Sunday.
Emirates Team New Zealand: 122 points
Oracle: 112 points
Land Rover BAR: 109 points
Artemis: 105 points
Softbank Team Japan: 100 points
Groupama Team France: 82 points
Source: ETNZ, Ricardo Pinto/ACEA 2016