Dean's Diary: First four days in the City of Soggy Streets

Emirates Team New Zealand in the first race on day two. America’s Cup World Series Venice regatta.
Emirates Team New Zealand / Photo Chris Cameron ETNZ ©

Dean Barker, Emirates Team NZ skipper and Director of www.kiwiyachting.co.nz!Kiwi_Yachting_Consultants_and_Nexus_AB, reports from Venice, Italy from the America's Cup World Series, in which he helms Emirates Team NZ .

13 May 2012: No sailing for ETNZ

Dean Barker - America’s Cup World Series Venice 2012
The last two days for us have been incredibly frustrating as we struggle to repair damage sustained when tensioning the trampoline that connects to both hulls. We were preparing to launch the boat on Friday for our first practice sail when there was an almighty bang which was the resultant noise as the core failed under the high loads that the trampoline tension exerts. This is a very unique issue and one that none of the other teams have had to deal with yet.

The shore crew of Ben and Dan worked overnight last night to affect repairs and replace the broken core material. Everything cured well overnight and the tramp was retensioned this morning so we could go out for the first day of the City of Venice Trophy. Unfortunately the same issue occurred for a second time as we were preparing the boat for launching. The onsite event structural engineer decided the fix they had provided yesterday was not enough and a lot more laminate needed to be applied. As a result the shore crew and the ACRM boatbuilders have been working flat out to laminate more material in today and overnight tonight so we can race tomorrow.

We were very fortunate that Luna Rossa offered us the use of one of their two boats for some training after the completion of the racing today. Although it felt a bit strange sailing the LR boat, it was great for myself and the guys to get our first taste of sailing on the Venice waters.

The focast for tomorrow looks like strong winds as we get the tail end of the Bora breeze so some exciting racing in store.

All for now

Emirates Team New Zealand finish the first race on day three in Venice. America's Cup World Series Regatta Venice. 19/5/2012

16 May 2012: Good practice in Venice

The last couple of days has been nice sailing conditions off Venice. The area outside Lido is a very nice area to sail and a good opportunity to practice and test speed. However once racing starts on Thursday we will only have the first day in these ideal conditions before the race course is shifted inside on Friday.

At this stage we have not had the opportunity to practice on the inside course area, but the brief sail we had up there on Sunday proved just how tight and difficult the race area will be. You quickly realise this is very much a show and anything can happen!

Forecast for tomorrow is for strong winds so hopefully we can get out for a final preparation sail in the afternoon if the wind moderates.

All for now

Emirates Team New Zealand almost lose their guest racer in the first race on day two. America's Cup World Series Venice regatta. Venice Italy. 18/5/2012
Emirates Team New Zealand / Photo Chris Cameron ETNZ ©

18 May 2012: Not a great Day 1

Today was not a great first day of the Venice event. The format was for the first two fleet races which also acted as seeding races for the match racing. Then once positions were established two quarter final races were to be sailed.

The first fleet race ourselves and four other boats were over early. The new OCSrule been experimented with here requires all boats over the line to fall behind the last boat which has started correctly within 5 seconds of the start. Unfortunately Artemis had a terrible start and so by the time we had dropped behind them we were well behind the rest of the fleet. We did a good job to work our way back to a 6th place.

Race two and we had a nice start and rounded the first mark 2nd. We got rolled on our first gybe and rounded the bottom gate in third which is where we finished to place us in 4th overall.

This seeding faced us off with Artemis in a best of three quarter final. We sailed terribly in the first two races losing both. This eliminates us from the match race section although we claim a more credible 5th placing out of this event.

We certainly need to lift our game tomorrow.

Day 3 - America’s Cup World Series Venice 2012

19 May 2012: Better Day in Venice

After a thorough debrief last night we came out ready to improve our performance on yesterday. It was not really a case of changing too much, more just fine tuning ourselves and working on the areas we made mistakes.

Today was the first day of racing inside the canal and was it tight! This makes even the Extreme 40 racing look easy. You were basically tacking or gybing at least once every minute and so for a 35 minute race that is a lot of maneuvers. By the time you cross the finish line the other four guys on the boat are just flogged.

We have two more races tomorrow so another tough day in store.

Dean

To read earlier editions of Dean Barker's blog http://www.kiwiyachting.co.nz/dean-barkers-blog!click_here