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New roles for Team NZ crew in Portsmouth

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/07/2016

Team New Zealand's crew are working overtime to cover for the absence of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke from the next round of the America's Cup World Series off Portsmouth.

Olympic gold medal favourites in the 49er class, regular Team NZ helmsman Burling and crewman Tuke have turned their attention to their final preparations for Rio.

It means the series-leading Kiwi outfit must adjust their on-boat roles heading into the seventh round off England's south coast this weekend.

Glenn Ashby takes the helm in a key part of the reshuffle, handing his wing trimming duties to tactician Ray Davies.

"Effectively we have a whole new team set up on board," Ashby said.

"Only one of our five guys onboard will be sailing in his regular position, the rest of us are almost learning the ropes and roles again.

"Expect it to look ugly at times, I am certain we won't be the most polished of crews out there."

The regatta falls nearly a year to the day since the first round of the nine-leg series was sailed in Portsmouth.

Team New Zealand finished third and first in the first two races. The next two were cancelled because of poor weather conditions.

They hold a 10-point lead over Team USA and Ben Ainslie Racing of Great Britain in the six-boat series which is raced in AC45 catamarans.

The series counts towards the 2017 America's Cup regatta in Bermuda.

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