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15 April 2005, 12:09 pm
Team NZ Prepare For Europe
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America's Cup 2007
Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand is winding up it's summer testing programme on the Hauraki Gulf and preparations are well underway to compete in six European regattas starting in June.
The team, skippered by New Zealander Dean BARKER (NZL), who is currently competing in the ISAF Grade 1 Congressional Cup in California, USA, has used the southern hemisphere summer to test hulls, appendages and sails.

By the end of next week, the programme will have been completed and the team will pack up and prepare for the move to Valencia for the 2005 pre-regattas which start on June 15.

Data collected from the summer programme with NZL81 and NZL68, the yacht built for the 2003 Louis Vuitton Cup by the Illbruck Challenge, has provided valuable input as the design team works towards the first new yacht for 2007.

The Illbruck Challenge did not go ahead and Emirates Team New Zealand acquired the unfinished yacht from syndicate head Michael ILLBRUCK for the 2007 campaign.

NZL68 stopped sailing last week when NZL82, repaired after being damaged last September when a tornado hit Marseille, was relaunched.

For the past eight days NZL82 and NZL81 have tested together providing more valuable data for designers.

In 2003, after back to back America's Cup wins, Team New Zealand lost out to Swiss Team, Alinghi in the final on their home waters of Auckland, New Zealand. Skippering Alinghi was their former talisman, Russell COUTTS (NZL), who had led the team to their previous two victories. With COUTTS missing the America's Cup in 2007 the stage is set for BARKER and his crew to bring the Cup back to the Southern Hemisphere. (As Amended By ISAF). Image:©
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