Smooth sailing for Team NZ on new catamaran

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 09:24 14/02/2013
Team NZ
Photosport

SMOOTH SAILING: Team New Zealand's new catamaran gets some air during the first day of testing.

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Team New Zealand heavyweights Grant Dalton and Dean Barker have declared their satisfaction with the syndicate's new America's Cup catamaran after sea-trialling her for the first time.

Just over a week after the second generation AC72 foot was launched, TNZ put Aotearoa through her paces on the Waitemata Harbour.

With the new boat full of subtle modifications, the talk had been of taking things quietly and systematically loading the boat up to test the hi-tech apparatus that adorns it.

But TNZ couldn't resist the chance to "foil" and had the hulls clear of the water in around 10 knots of north-east sea breeze.

"For a first day it was pretty good, certainly better than the first day in the first boat which didn't go too badly either," TNZ boss Dalton said.

"There wasn't that much breeze but we put the boat up on the foils for a while and nothing looked untoward; there were no creaks or groans."

Barker, the skipper charged with trying to win back sport's oldest trophy, was slightly more emphatic.

"It was a really good first day," Barker beamed.

"The breeze never really got strong but the boat was behaving very, very well. We're happy with the way it has all gone.

"Any day you can come back and the boat is in one piece and you've performed above the predictions is good. We're pretty happy with that."

America's Cup rules allow syndicates 45 days of sailing before May 1.The Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series starts in San Francisco on July 4.

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