America's Cup update


From Auckland madforsailing looks at how the America's Cup poker game is shaping up
Auckland is less the City of Sails, than the Windy City at present as New Zealand endures the depths of winter. For the America's Cup teams on Syndicate Alley, there have only been three or four proper sailing days over the last couple of weeks as the Hauraki Gulf is dashed by gales and 15-20 knot winds in the lulls and torrential downpours. Maybe it was luck, maybe it was design, but both Alinghi and Team New Zealand seem to have predicted the inclement weather and around two weeks ago both shut up shop and went 'on holiday'. Europe seems to be the destination of choice with both teams taking part in a number of events in those waters over the summer months. The first result of this was seen recently at the showdown between Alinghi's Russell Coutts and Team New Zealand's Dean Barker in the finals of the Omega Seamaster Trophy match racing event in Italy. Contrary to expectations Dean beat Russell, the pupil despatching the master. But is this indicative of things to come? The popular view according to the present poll on madfor sailing would suggest not, but a rematch is soon to take place at the Swedish Match Grand Prix in Marstrand, Sweden, the final of the match racing tour on 4-7 July. GBR Challenge are slightly out of sync with the other campaigns. The full squad is now in town and work is continuing on the new boat Wight Lightning which arrived last week. Peter Harrison's squad have been testing cathedral rigs and it is rumoured that back in Cowes they have increased the pace of the build of their second boat GBR78 - originally due for launch next spring - as they are considering getting it out to Auckland. Sweden's Victory Challenge were training

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