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Team NZ in a New York state of mind

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/05/2016

Key figures from Team New Zealand are embracing the challenge of racing on New York's Hudson River in the America's Cup World Series.

The fifth round of the eight-leg series this weekend will be held on a tight course in the heart of the city which skipper Peter Burling admits will test him to the limit.

"A really short course, a lot of chop, current and shifty breeze - it will be really really tough, but it sure is a challenge and that's what we like," he said.

The New Zealanders lead the six-boat series which serves as a lead-in to the 2017 America's Cup regatta in Bermuda.

Skipper Glenn Ashby says the first America's Cup event to take place in New York in 96 years will test the capacity of the AC45 catamarans and their five-person crews.

Ashby says the variation of the currents at the harbour end of the river and the swirling winds which blow through skyscrapers have the potential to make the two-day regatta a lottery.

Team meteorologist Roger Badham and tactician Ray Davies have spent time studying the conditions.

"It will require the teams to be really tuned in until the end of each race," Davies said.

"Having the races close to shore will create some spectacular images. Hopefully we get some strong wind to really show what these boats can do."

Team NZ have finished on the podium in each of the first four regattas, including victory at Gothenburg last August.

Olympic-bound Burling and crewmate Blair Tuke arrive in sharp form, having won a series of major 49er class events since the new year, including the world championships.

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