ETNZ waste no time getting out sailing on the waters off Barcelona

Barcelona – Friday 14th July 2023

Emirates Team New Zealand, the Defenders of the America’s Cup, wasted no time getting ‘Te Rehutai’ out sailing on the waters off Barcelona on Friday, a day earlier than scheduled thanks to a favourable forecast and typically efficient shore crew hitting the ground running and re-rigging the AC75 just days after arriving in the city themselves.

A welcoming southwest to south-south west sea breeze of 13-17 knots greeted the sailors with a sunny 30°+ degree temperature – conditions that are a far cry from the wet, windy, and cold Auckland that the team has been used to in recent weeks.

“This is a very important step for the team, we’re really excited to be in Barcelona and to have hit the water, raised the sails and jumped up on the foils,” commented Emirates Team New Zealand COO Kevin Shoebridge.

Arriving fresh off the plane only days prior, Shoebridge said the support for the team and event is clear. “As we pulled Te Rehutai out of the shed to launch, there were a few people on their tip toes getting photos of the boat over the base fence. Then, towing out to the racecourse area it was quite surreal because it was just over a year ago that Barcelona was named as the 37th Americas Cup venue, and just over a month or so ago we were sailing in Auckland. It just goes to show the strength of the team we have and the ability to get things done. But, what we have done to date isn’t nearly enough to win the America’s Cup. There is still a massive amount to achieve in the next year- and especially in the next few months while we are here, including the first official racing in Vilanova i La Geltrú in precisely 2 months’ time.”

Skipper Peter Burling and the team had a short but efficient session, completing 100% of their manoeuvres on the foils while shaking down Te Rehutai for the first sail and starting the re-commissioning process. Speaking after sailing, Pete came away with a positive first impression, saying: “Much has been made of the Barcelona conditions and swell so it was good to get a first taste of the water where we will battle out the next Americas Cup. We have plenty to learn and a range of different conditions to get out into and experience plus how we need to change the way we sail the boat or how we configure things. It’s going to be a busy time here, but it was nice to have a really efficient session today. It’s exciting thinking ahead and just looking at the proximity of the racecourse to the Barcelona beachfront is really cool.”

“This is going to be a fascinating and exciting America’s Cup.”

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