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26 Feb 2018 6:42
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Sailing

    Team NZ 2021 preparations ticking along

    Team New Zealand are three years out from defending the America's Cup but are already working hard on plans for their home 2021 edition.


    The man at the helm of Team New Zealand's operations says everything is ticking along just nicely for a home America's Cup run.

    Kevin Shoebridge, Team New Zealand's chief operating officer, was on hand to collect the 2017 Supreme Halberg award in Auckland on Thursday after his Kiwi crew brought the Auld Mug home from Bermuda in June.

    Lacking the resources of the fearsome Oracle Team USA, Shoebridge's Team NZ nevertheless managed to outwit their opponents on the way to a 7-1 victory.

    There are more than three years remaining before Team NZ attempt to defend the Cup in Auckland in 2021, but Shoebridge said there was still work to do.

    His team were attempting to finalise the official class rules for the 2021 event by the end of March, with AC75 monohull racing yachts selected.

    They are also endeavouring to keep in constant contact with both the New Zealand government and Auckland's council on a suitable America's Cup venue.

    Auckland Council elected in November to stage a cluster of team bases around Halsey Wharf, Hobson Wharf and Wynyard Wharf East in 2021.

    That went against Team NZ's preference for a Halsey Wharf extension.

    "We're working through the venue situation with council and government and hopefully that's not too far away," Shoebridge said.

    "Really, this year is about getting the team cranked up again, making sure we don't lose focus on the really important thing, which is still winning a yacht race."

    Shoebridge said he was chuffed to see his team take home the Supreme Halberg, beating out canoeist Lisa Carrington, shot putter Tom Walsh and para-swimmer Sophie Pascoe.

    He felt the side's teamwork was key to their on-water success.

    "They're big teams, 90 or 100 people - a lot of meetings, discussions, a huge amount of preparation goes on before we get to the water," Shoebridge said.

    "Every detail is scrutinised, discussed, thought about."


    NZN




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