America's Cup: Team New Zealand walking a fine line in build-up

Team New Zealand trimmer Blair Tuke admits there has been a degree of foxing from his team in their build-up to the America's Cup.

The Kiwi syndicate remained stuck on land in Bermuda today as the shore team continue the marathon repair job on the punctured hull, which was sustained during a collision with British team Ben Ainslie Racing on Wednesday. But with practice racing called off once again due to light winds on the Great Sound, the setback has not cost Team NZ any further practice racing experience.

The team were eager to grab every opportunity test themselves under proper match racing conditions this week as the countdown to the opening race of the America's Cup qualifiers ticks over to eight days.

Likewise, their rivals were no doubt just as eager to get a better look at the Kiwi boat, which only arrived in Bermuda a month ago.

Tuke, who also provides some of the pedal power aboard the Kiwi boat, said there has been an element of sandbagging in Team NZ's build-up, as they try to keep some innovations and sailing techniques under wraps.

Listen: Blair Tuke on the Radio Sport Breakfast

"It's an interesting one. You don't want to let the opposition see everything you can do, you want to keep a bit up your sleeve, but at the same time if you want to execute something well, you have to practice it. You can't expect to put a new piece of equipment on, or suddenly do something differently on the first day of racing and expect eveything to be 100 per cent. It's a fine line," Tuke told the Radio Sport Breakfast.

"That's something we're evaluating the whole time and will continue to as different things come on line during the challenger series."

Read more: Meet out new America's Cup expert

Despite this week's setbacks, in which the team blew out their rudder on day one of practice racing before Wednesday's run-in with Ainslie, Tuke said it is important Team NZ continue to push their boat hard and keep developing.

"We have to get faster, we know that - we've said that from the start. The guys we have to beat to get to Oracle are good - Softbank is going really fast, Artemis is fast, so to beat those guys we need to be at the top of our game.

"That's the beauty of the America's Cup, it's always evolving, teams are developing and getting faster using different techniques so we've got to try and match that and then do one better. Each day you go and you learn something, but you have to think ahead and think where people are going to get to and where the bar is going to be set and hopefully have your eye further down the road than the other guy."

Team NZ expect to be back out on the water on Sunday after opting to push up a couple of planned upgrades and maintenance work while the boat was already in the shed.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 24 May 2017 10:46:55 Processing Time: 53ms