Teams train without incident on first practice day in Auckland
We're sorry but we don't have any interesting photos from Sunday's training session because the organization thought that the most representative shots were this one or this one. I think I must be missing something here!!!!
[Source: Louis Vuitton Trophy] One of the oldest names in recent America’s Cup history went out and trained today on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour with one of the newest Cup hopefuls.
Italy’s Azzurra, a name first made famous in Newport, RI, in 1983, joined with the Synergy Russian Sailing Team as the first pair of boats to test their skills aboard the two Emirates Team New Zealand boats they will race for the next two weeks.
Favored by brilliant blue skies and a puffy easterly breeze that clocked to the south, each of the eight teams here in Auckland for the Louis Vuitton Trophy took turns transferring aboard the race boats for two all-too-brief hours of familiarization and training. They’ll repeat the same process on Monday before racing starts with the first of seven days of round robin competition.
“We needed a good practice day in decent breeze and today was very good. We got the rust off the crew,” said Tommaso Chieffi, tactician aboard Azzurra, after returning to the dock in the Louis Vuitton Village. “We had the opportunity in Valencia to train in light air but today we could try a few manoeuvres in bigger breeze.
Looking at the multinational teams in the Auckland event, Chieffi sees an advantage in fielding an all-Italian crew. “We always planned to have an Italian boat where the main language was Italian and having the same core group all the time must be an advantage.”
It must have meant something at the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Nice, last November, when Azzurra won. “We weren’t expecting to win in Nice but we did and it was our first time together as a group,” said Chieffi. “We won and it was a very good feeling. Somehow we need to tone down our expectations here because it is a new venue, a new regatta and the competition is very fierce. Nobody is here to play. Everybody wants to win.”
Before going out to train, Paul Cayard, the American skipper and tactician for the Swedish Artemis team, took a pragmatic approach to his boat’s seventh place at the Nice regatta. “We were realistic going into Nice,” he said. “We didn’t have an America’s Cup boat to train on; we did zero training there.
“All of us on board have been in several America’s Cups and they are great sailors but what makes a difference between New Zealand and a lot of other teams that have individuals on board is the cohesiveness of the team. “
“It takes a lot of choreography and teamwork to sail one of these 17-man boats well. And that’s where we have to grow and come together. We did some training in Dubai and here in Auckland on the Emirates Team New Zealand boats and we’re looking to improve and be in the semi-finals here in Auckland.”
Jochen Schumann, the skipper and strategist for the German/French All4One team, had a similar perspective. “We finished fifth in Nice, due to a good final day and good breeze, Schumann said. “Earlier in the regatta, we suffered a little bit because of a lot of little mistakes, which is proof that we need some training. Our target here in Auckland is to finish in the top four which would be a great achievement against some tough teams.”