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Team NZ target clean starts in Chicago

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/06/2016

Helmsman Peter Burling will make polished starts a priority for Team New Zealand in this weekend's sixth round of the America's Cup World Series.

The series leaders are bracing for another tense weekend of racing on a tiny course where errors are likely to be magnified.

A burst on the final leg of the final race secured them victory in New York a month ago, keeping their nose in front of Oracle Team USA overall.

Burling says the course on the fresh water of Lake Michigan will provide a different challenge to patchy breeze and currents of New York's Hudson River.

"We are literally confined between a rock wall and the city water front", Burling said.

"So all of the action is going to be really, really tight which means it will be even more difficult than usual to pass boats.

"Getting good, clean starts and rounding the first mark in front is going to be paramount to having a successful regatta."

Skipper Glenn Ashby says Chicago can be labelled a "novelty" venue because of the potential for wind strength and direction to quickly change as it puffs through the neighbouring city skyline.

He said the bright side for the crew is that sailing in fresh water will save them the job of washing down their AC45 catamaran at the end of each day.

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