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27 April 2005, 12:35 pm
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America's Cup 2007
Auckland, New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand is fielding three crews on the international match racing circuit this year, skippered by Dean BARKER (NZL), Kelvin HARRAP (NZL) and Ben AINSLIE (GBR).

Emirates Team New Zealand join the list of America's Cup teams to confirm their line ups for the major ISAF Graded Match Race events of the European Spring season.

The team have already had one success at the ISAF Grade 1 Congressional Cup, which was sailed off Long Beach, California, USA earlier this month. BARKER and his crew won the event from stiff opposition from the likes of Chris DICKSON (NZL) and Russell COUTTS (NZL).

From 1-8 May, double Olympic gold medallist, AINSLIE will sail in the ISAF Grade 1 Elba Cup in Italy, and later in the month, from 11-16 May, in the ISAF Grade 1 Match Race Germany, as the Brit continues to develop his skills in the match race discipline.

HARRAP will sail in another ISAF Grade 1 event, the ACI Cup in Split, Croatia from 22-28 May before going on to the ISAF Grade 2 Blurimini Match Race in Rimini, Italy, from 1-4 June.

Syndicate head, Grant DALTON (NZL) says the aim is to keep the crews sharp and focused between the European America's Cup pre-regattas and before testing restarts on the Hauraki Gulf.

'They have to stay at the top of their game and the only way to do that is compete in these top-level regattas.'

'Many of the other America's Cup syndicates are sailing in these regattas. It's useful to keep an eye on them and regularly measure our performance against theirs.'

DALTON said: 'Ben is determined to become an America's Cup helmsman and the best way to achieve that is to get on the international circuit and do some hard match racing.'

'He will be racing under the Emirates Team New Zealand banner, with teammates calling tactics, trimming and working the bow.'

The team's match racing programme is:

ISAF Grade 1 Elba Cup, Italy, 1-8 May, Ben AINSLIE
ISAF Grade 1 Match Race Germany, 11-16 May, Ben AINSLIE
ISAF Grade 1 ACI Cup, Croatia, 22-28 May, Kelvin HARRAP
ISAF Grade 2 Blurimini Match Race, Rimini, Italy, 1-6 June, Kelvin HARRAP
ISAF Grade 1 Trombini Trophy, Marina di Ravenna, Italy, 29 June-3 July, Ben AINLSIE
ISAF Grade 1 Swedish Match Cup, Marstrand, Sweden, 4-10 July, Dean BARKER, Kelvin HARRAP
ISAF Grade 1 Portugal Match Cup, Cascais, Portugal, 19-24 July, Ben AINSLIE
ISAF Grade 1 Danish Open, Skovshoved, Denmark, 10-14 August, Kelvin HARRAP
ISAF Grade 1 Bermuda Gold Cup, Hamilton, Bermuda, 15-23 October, Dean BARKER, Kelvin HARRAP
ISAF Grade 1 Nippon Cup, Japan, Hayama, Kanagawa, 15-20 November, Dean BARKER (As Amended By ISAF). Image:©
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