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Team NZ shakes off cobwebs in Bermuda

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/04/2017
AC45F racing sailboat of Emirates Team New Zealand crashes into a wave on their way to winning race three and winning the America's Cup World Series sailing event in New York. © Reuters AC45F racing sailboat of Emirates Team New Zealand crashes into a wave on their way to winning race three and winning the America's Cup World Series sailing event in New York.

Team New Zealand has shaken off the cobwebs with an America's Cup class hit-out on the tropical waters of Bermuda's Great Sound

Skipper Glenn Ashby, who says he has been like "a cat on a hot tin roof" waiting to get out on the water, was happy to finally get back into action after leaving New Zealand two weeks ago.

The first-up session was centred on a recommissioning of the systems and components to make sure everything was working properly, he said.

"When you look at the calendar it actually hasn't been too long since we last sailed in Auckland," he said.

"But everything that has happened between times, packing up, flying the boat here and rebuilding it has made it seem a lot longer.

"It was really fantastic to get back out there and get a taste of the race course first hand for the first time."

Team New Zealand has relaunched their race boat, Aotearoa New Zealand, with replacement daggerboards while the finishing repairs are made to their race boards which were damaged in Auckland.

"We would have preferred to have our race boards back in the boat, but we need to be sure the repairs are 100 per cent right, so we don't want to rush the repair."

There are just 34 days to go until the first race of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers.

Another official race training period begins on Monday in Bermuda, although Ashby was equivocal as to whether Team New Zealand would participate.

"We will see how we go - we need to take our time to make sure we are happy with where we are at before starting any racing."

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