Emirates Team New Zealand are bound for Barcelona
While Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC40’s have been maximising their time on the water pre start training and development testing on Auckland’s harbour, the shore crew have been operating at equal intensity on top of their day to day tasks packing up and shipping out container loads of endless equipment and supplies, chase boats and of course Te Rehutai, their AC75 bound for Barcelona.
“It certainly feels like we're juggling a few balls at the moment.” said Nick Burridge Emirates Team New Zealand Reliability and Maintenance Manager.
“We've got the pack up of the AC75 and all associated equipment. Chase boats, plant containers, all of that sort of stuff going out the door as well as an important sailing block at the moment where we're both feeding information into the design of our race boat as well as race training with both AC40’s out on the water at the same time.”
It is a familiar juggle for the team who have many campaigns experience packing up and shipping out to offshore locations to race.
With time being such a precious commodity for all teams, minimising downtime while transitioning locations is a critical consideration in campaign planning.
“We’ve got to make the most of every sort of opportunity we get no matter if it is in logistics, design, boat building, or sailing.” Explained Burridge
“But we love a challenge, so we're into it and getting the most that we can out of it.”
Te Rehutai and the full shipment was trucked out of the Auckland base to the Port of Tauranga where it was loaded onto its vessel before heading on its way to Barcelona.
“We came through in the night to get here, and now it has a very quick three and a half week run through to Europe.” said Shore Crew Manager Sean Regan.
“The first bunch of guys will head up to Barcelona very shortly to start unloading Te Rehutai there, while the team finishes packing up the remaining stuff here in New Zealand, so it should be a very brief hiatus from the water for the sailing team.
We know to keep them happy they need to be yachting.”
As the bulk of the operation is Barcelona bound across the Pacific Ocean, AC40 sailing continues for a little longer before team members themselves start their own migration north over the next month in preparation for the first day sailing in Barcelona in July- joining most of the Challengers testing on the waters of the 37th America’s Cup.