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America's Cup begins now: Team NZ

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/11/2016

Team New Zealand says there is no significance in their spluttering finish to the America's World Series.

They contend the winning of the Auld Mug begins now as teams set about fine-tuning their designs for the regatta proper in Bermuda next year.

The Kiwi syndicate faded to third overall in the nine-leg series which finished in Japan over the weekend, having led through the middle stages.

However, skipper Glenn Ashby is unconcerned by their form in the AC45 class fleet racing boats, which were developed five years ago.

He says the boats almost incomparable to the bigger, AC50 class craft which will contest match races at the America's Cup beginning in May.

"Comparing the two boats would be like comparing a formula one car with a Toyota Corolla.

"You ain't seen nothing yet, in terms of how fast and manoeuvrable the AC Class boats are going to be next year in Bermuda."

Ashby says without the fastest boat, it is "near impossible" to win the America's Cup and expects Bermuda to be no different.

British outfit Ben Ainslie Racing won the world series and subsequently carry two points into the first round of the challenger series.

America's Cup holders Oracle Team USA were second and take one point into the series.

It will be the first time in Cup history that the defenders have taken part in the qualifying series.

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