Team New Zealand at home in San Francisco

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:00 26/05/2013

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Team New Zealand have quickly shown their comfort in the new wind limits being proposed for America's Cup racing in San Francisco as syndicates digest the 37 recommendations that will significantly alter the regatta.

A day after blowing out the cobwebs in light winds on the famous bay, Dean Barker and his crew put the foot down yesterday, revelling in the 22 knots on offer.

Those conditions put them right in the middle of the reduced wind range organisers want implemented following a safety review after the deadly Artemis Racing capsize two weeks ago.

Regatta director Iain Murray's recommendations want the wind limits reduced by 10 knots, meaning racing in a maximum of 20kts in July, 21kts in August, and 23kts in September. There could still be additional wind limit adjustments for tide and sea state.

Emirates Team New Zealand look set to go along with those, despite successful testing in far stronger winds in Auckland.

Certainly yesterday was a joy ride for the Kiwis. "It was a really good day. We saw up to 22 knots out there and had no issues," Barker said.

The syndicates are now weighing up Murray's recommendations which were made after a review committee consulted all four teams following the death of Artemis strategist Andrew Simpson.

Murray can push them through by himself because the event still requires a Coast Guard safety permit. No permit, no racing.

Tom Ehman, vice-commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club and the director of external affairs for the America's Cup Event Authority, was suggesting on Friday that the recommendations were "non-negotiable" because they were crucial to getting the permit.

He softened that stance yesterday when speaking to the Sunday News , suggesting Murray could "amend" them.

Ehman, a 33-year veteran of the cup, isn't expecting the litigation that so often plagues the event.

"The accident has caused everybody to pull together and become more co-operative," he said.

But there was a rider: "As you get closer to the cup, the competitive instincts of all of these teams will always be there."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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