New Zealand is clear to compete after a successful first day of training with the team’s new wingsail in Cádiz. The Kiwis’ five-week, forced hiatus from racing comes to an end this weekend, Sat 14 and Sun 15 Oct CEST.
After today’s sailing, New Zealand wing trimmer Blair Tuke said: “It was a beautiful day on the water for us - spending some time commissioning the new wing, while also having some critical practice in ahead of the weekend.”
“We had a really nice mix of conditions ranging anywhere between five and 15 knots. So, that enabled us to get out there and sail in different configurations, both with six and four [crew] onboard, and test out some foiling manoeuvres. We really couldn’t have asked for a better first day in Cádiz,” Tuke said.
The Kiwis have not competed since the structural failure of the team’s wingsail on day one in Saint-Tropez. In addition to being unable to race on day two in Saint-Tropez, the team was forced to sit out the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix last month - although was awarded an automatic fifth-place finish as part of a revised redress ruling by the league.
Since confirming a solution to get the new wingsail from New Zealand to Spain, SailGP’s tech team has been hard at work to get Amokura race ready for the weekend.
Tuke said: “The boat went awesome and no issues with the new wing - it’s a huge credit to the tech team and everyone involved in getting that together. It’s no small task and they’ve done an amazing job - we were out there throwing the boat straight away.”
Tuke said: “Definitely the last couple of events have been a setback for us but the team is fully focused on the weekend ahead, getting a good score on the board and getting our season back on track.”
“There’s a huge amount of motivation in the group. We’re embracing the situation that’s been handed to us, getting back out there and showing what we can do on the water,” said Tuke.
The Spain Sail Grand Prix gets underway tomorrow with the pre-event press conference and official practice racing with all ten team sailing. Racing begins on the weekend, kicking off at 1.30am Sun 15 and Mon 15 Oct NZST, live only on ThreeNow. Fans can catch full delayed coverage in app, or on Three (linear) at 4.30pm each day.
Cádiz marks the third and final event of the European leg of the SailGP championship before SailGP’s recently-announced return to Dubai for the Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix, presented by P&O Marinas (9-10 Dec 2023).