Emirates Team New Zealand Set to Defend in New York

By Ben Roberts

Set against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, the AC45’s of each America’s Cup team are preparing to face-off this weekend on the New York harbour for the first time in 96 years.

“This is certainly going to be a unique sailing regatta for everyone.” said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby in a report delivered on the team's official site. “As always there are going to be the six teams not wanting to give an inch but fighting to take a mile out of each other - it will be full on but we are really looking forward to the challenge.”

Conditions will play a huge part in this regatta, especially as the sailing is expected to be some of the trickiest seen at any event due to the swirly breeze and current.

Team meteorologist Roger Badham explains, “The current and tide will be a significant factor sailing on the Hudson River. There is a tide that runs in and out which can be up to 2.5 knots and possibly 3 knots running down the river and that will then reverse for the incoming tide to run up the river at 1.5 to 2 kts with the flood tide and obviously the current will differ across the river - from the main stream to the banks.”

Badham and tactician Ray Davies have been working closely to study the weather forecast and local conditions to try to get a handle of how best to approach the racing.

“The forecast right now is looking quite variable which is never easy, add to this we have the Hudson river with its strong current flow as well as a very turbulent breeze which does funny things coming through the Manhattan skyline so this combined will create a very challenging racecourse.” said Davies

The New York event is the 5th regatta in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World series which Emirates Team New Zealand is leading overall by 6 points over Oracle Team USA. Emirates Team New Zealand has finished on the podium at every regatta so far, including winning the event in Gothenburg in 2015.

By Ben Roberts