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Emirates Team NZ's AC75 Te Aihe mixes it with the 49ers

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz 20 Nov 2019 15:00 NZDT 20 November 2019
Emirates Team New Zealand gets amongst the 49ers ahead of the 2019 Hyundai World Championship - Waitemata Harbour - November 19, 2019 © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

Light winds weren't that co-operative with Emirates Team New Zealand's Te Aihe on Tuesday when she ventured out on the Waitemata for the first time in almost two weeks.

The last time was after she had the big splash down (reported here) - but we don't believe the downtime was a result of the splashdown, as Te Aihe did another run upwind before she scarpered off to the "The Paddock" - tout suite - and stayed out for another four hours. Just eyeballing the AC75 on that run, we wouldn't have thought there would have been much change out of 50kts.

While there have been some bad weather days since, our pick is that there were some substantial modifications going on, before the team lock down the design of Boat 2

Certainly the spy boats were in a frenzy yesterday, with we think, INEOS Team UK and American Magic taking a close view of the AC75.

Conditions were such that occasionally Te Aihe could get up and foil without the assistance of a light tow rope to a chase boat, at other times she was able to get up and foil unassisted. Regardless of how she got foil-borne being able to stay foiling in the light conditions was impressive.

For a while she played around with the 49ers getting set to go out and participate in more racing, or to give Peter Burling and Blair Tuke a look at their opposition for the upcoming World Championships, which get underway on December 3 in Auckland.

That regatta will be preceded by an Oceania Championship which gets underway next week November 25-27, with Burling and Tuke now entered in the Oceania Championship (previously they were a notable omission).

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