Incident-free debut for Team New Zealand

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 15:17 24/05/2013

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Team New Zealand have had an incident-free debut in their massive America’s Cup catamaran on the San Francisco Bay.

It was the big cat’s first taste of the waters where the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series and the America’s Cup will be raced.

The Kiwis were out on the water for two hours, sailing in winds that ranged from 5-16 knots.

Skipper Dean Barker was pleased with the first day's effort from his team.

"It was good to get out there and get a feel for the bay. There was not much breeze by San Francisco standards, but enough on the first day," Barker said.

"We have made a lot of changes to the boat since Auckland. Everything will be checked overnight and we will be back on the water tomorrow."

He said the shore crew and logistics people had done a remarkable job moving the base from Auckland to San Francisco in a compressed time-frame.

"Now we can think about going racing," he said. 

Team New Zealand had always planned to sail today after building their base and AC72 which were containered north from Auckland.

Their maiden sail on the infamous Bay came two weeks after Swedish challenger Artemis Racing capsized, killing British sailor Andrew Simpson.

The recommendations from a  review into that tragedy were released yesterday with 37 changes in the pipeline to increase safety.

Team New Zealand, Italy challenger Luna Rossa and cup holders Oracle have all now sailed since the accident though Artemis have yet to return to the water.

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- Fairfax Media

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