Sailing: AC72 makes debut in San Francisco

Emirates Team New Zealand took the AC72 sailing on San Francisco Bay for the first time today.

Sailing crew, designers and technicians checked systems in preparation for the resumption tomorrow of the on-the-water build-up for the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup in the first week of July.

Today the breeze was light - from five to 15 knots. The AC72 was on the Bay for two hours. Tomorrow’s forecast is for light breeze in the morning, building to 16-20 knots in the afternoon.

Luna Rossa and Oracle also sailed today.

Hitting the water today - May 23 in San Francisco - was a target set three months ago.

Back at the base, Grant Dalton said: "A great day, no issues at all. The guys know their jobs, the systems work and even though we have made significant changes since Auckland, we always expected the boat to pop put of the box.

"It was perfect. Oracle was out there; Luna Rossa was out there. The boys got straight into it - foiling across the face of the Golden Gate Bridge -something we have had in mind for a couple of years.

"So now we get into it properly tomorrow."

Skipper Dean Barker was also pleased with the first day. "It was good to get out there and get a feel for the Bay. There was not much breeze by San Francisco standards, but enough on the first day.

"We have made a lot of changes to the boat since Auckland. Everything will be checked overnight and we will be back on the water tomorrow."

He said the shore crew and logistics people had done a remarkable job moving the base from Auckland to San Francisco in a compressed time frame. "Now we can think about going racing."

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