As Brad Butterworth complains that yacht racing is too complicated, some series are becoming increasingly professional. Several Americas Cup syndicates have teams competing in the IShares Cup and now, Team New Zealand plan to compete in their own right in the Audi Med Cup for TP52s
For the first time Team New Zealand will have a TP52 in their own colours next season. A Botin Carkeek design is already under way at Cookson’s in Auckland- who built the 2007 Circuit winning Artemis (SWE). The plan is to have the boat in the water around the time of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series (31 January to 14th February) before shipping it to Europe.
‘We tried to get a team together for this season but did not quite get the funding in place, but Dalts (Grant Dalton) has done a really good job and decided as a priority to focus on the TP52 season next year we have actually started building the boat at Cookson’s with a Marcelino Botin design. The boat should be ready for when the Louis Vuitton series in on in Auckland, with sea trials February-March next year and then ship the boat up.’ Reveals Ray Davies (NZL), who won the MedCup Circuit in 2006 with Mean Machine.
‘Basically the core of Team New Zealand, Dean will be driving, I will be doing tactics, Kevin Hall and Adam Beashel are involved in the afterguard, Jeremy Lomas, James Dagg, a lot of the guys who have been involved with the TP52’s for the last couple of years.’ Continues Davies.
‘We are very excited to be getting it all together on the one boat. We have backing. It has been our philosophy for the last few years to use the TP52 Circuit as the most competitive big boat sailing around at the moment…
He believes that the 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit will be ideal for the New Zealand public to get behind their team on:
‘ The New Zealand public still don’t know much about this Circuit so it should create a bit of interest and this should put it on the map there, a bit. But the whole emphasis really is to have the sailing team together, under pressure, working on relationships under pressure.’
‘ Next year there seems to be a lot of teams looking to build but want to sell their current boat before they commit.’