New Zealand gears up for comeback in Cádiz

This weekend (14-15 Oct), New Zealand will make their long-awaited comeback in the stunning but unpredictable waters of Cádiz in the Andalucía region of Spain. The event will mark five weeks since the Kiwis raced following the structural collapse of the team’s wingsail on day one in Saint-Tropez. 

New Zealand was forced to sit out the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix last month, but picked up an automatic fifth-place finish through revised redress rules. Movements across the rest of the fleet meant the Kiwis were able to maintain their fifth-place in the overall season standings – but commentators have speculated as to whether New Zealand’s absence ‘opened the door’ to those below them on the leaderboard.

Following the Taranto event, New Zealand wing trimmer Blair Tuke said: “The leaderboard really could have gone either way this weekend and in the end, we saw the front teams widen their lead. As it worked out, with Emirates GBR and Australia having strong results and Denmark and Spain not having their best performance, we’ve managed to stay where we are [fifth] in the standings and maintain contact with the top three teams.”

New Zealand’s wingsail arrived in Europe last week to begin its journey to Cádiz, where it will undergo extensive testing and commissioning by the SailGP tech team. Preparations include the complete install of new hydraulics and electrical systems, as well as commissioning those systems before skinning and branding the equipment. 

And while the team will be up against the clock to get New Zealand F50 Amokura race ready, driver Peter Burling said he couldn’t wait to get his team’s season back on track. 

Burling said, “It’s awesome to be back in Cádiz. The league has worked quickly to get our wingsail, parts and components to site and ready for this weekend’s event, and we can’t wait to get back racing again.”

“Cádiz is an amazing sailing venue and conditions can really go either way. So, as a team we’re preparing for anything and putting together our best plan to come out strong this weekend,” Burling said.

The Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía-Cádiz will unfold over two days, beginning live at 1.30am on Sunday 15 and Monday 16 October NZST, only on ThreeNow. Fans can tune into full delayed coverage on Three (linear) at 4.30pm, or watch the replay in-app (available soon after live racing).

Cádiz marks the final event of the European leg of the SailGP championship before SailGP’s recently-announced return to Dubai for the Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix, presented by P&O Marinas (9-10 Dec 2023).

Natalie Fortier Senior Manager – Marketing & Communications, New Zealand SailGP Team

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JPK August 2023
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