Back into the daily grind!

After several years of disjointed, drawn out legal action and associated Drama, I am very pleased to say the Americas Cup is back on track. The next generation of boats promises to be action packed and exciting. This time the mono hulls are gone and we racing 72 feet catamarans with winged sails.

They are ‘formula one’ – about as fast as you could make a boat go, and the potential for ‘thrills and spills’ is high. We are expected to be doing speeds in excess of 40 knots, there are very few chase boats that will be able to keep up with that and I understand that for racing, it is likely that umpires will view the race from helicopters to keep up.

Under the rules, our new cat will be unveiled on June of next year. Up till then we are sailing a variety of different sized multi hulls. The most frequently talked about is the AC45 class – which is like a ‘mini’ version of the 72 ft boats. That series has started this year and with one more regatta to go this year, Team NZ is leading on the points chart. Team NZ is also using a smaller version again – a 33 footer for various racing and in house testing.

For me personally the roles on this new and exciting boat will vary. The boats are likely to have huge physical requirements. There are 11 crew on the boat and it is joked about that 10 of them will be grinders. The rules dictate a maximum crew weight limit, but the more big guys with experience – the better. Ironically the type of work load is likely to shift from more ‘brute strength’ as per the previous AC boats to more ‘strength endurance’ – i.e more like rowing! - so it is well suited to my physiology. There will also be plenty of moving around on the boat, getting from one side to the other.

Any way – l will provide further information in blogs to come, but for the time being, it is great to be back at team NZ and working full time again. – It is a team and culture that I am very proud to be associated with.