Emirates Team New Zealand update

Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand
Tactician Ray Davies shares his impressions of sailing the big AC72 cats
We reckon that sailors in the present America’s Cup are on about the best gig that has ever been available in sailing. Gone are the ‘groundhog day’ years of endless and near pointless speed testing on cumbersome version 5 lead mines. Instead modern day Cup sailors are getting to hang out on some of the most cutting edge equipment on the water, truly stepping into the unknown with some of the gear they are using and their on board methodology. They are getting to sail faster than they have ever sailed before and are getting paid top dollar to do so! While a few months ago few would have bet against the resource rich Oracle Team USA successfully defending the 34th America’s Cup, following the US team's costly capsize in October, so Emirates Team New Zealand now seems to be the bookies favourite. The Kiwi team was the first to go foiling in its AC72, has had by far the most time sailing its AC72 and unlike the defender or Artemis Racing (which also lost months thanks to the spontaneous combustion of its first wing), to date has had no major issues with its state of the art flying catamarans (firmly touching wood). Earlier this month, the Kiwi Cup team was the first (and, to date, the only team) to launch its second generation AC72 and is the only team to be roughly on schedule with the timetable laid out in article 29.2 of the AC34 Protocol. The team is now into its second wave of testing as permitted by the Protocol (up to 45 days from 1 February to 1 May), although in April, around six weeks from now, they are due to decamp from their Auckland base, bound for San Francisco. This America’s Cup greatly differs from what has gone before in so