15 Jun 2017

Team NZ back with favourite wingsail

10:29 am on 15 June 2017

Team New Zealand is back on the water with the wingsail it badly damaged in a capsize a week ago.

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Team NZ crew scramble to install the "sacred wing", shortly before going back out and capsizing it a week ago. Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

The team has repaired and re-installed the wing, taking it out for two sessions today on Bermuda's Great Sound.

The wing was rapidly fitted on a disastrous day, when one wing broke several battens, then the catamaran capsized, badly damaging the second.

Regatta director Iain Murray had described the wing as Team New Zealand's "sacred wing", which it had been trying to preserve for the Cup match.

The team rejected that, and their wing co-ordinator Rob Salthouse said it was the favourite because it was the second one made.

Salthouse said he always knew it was fixable.

"The wings are a little bit like a big jigsaw puzzle. That day when it came in it just happened to be a 1000-piece one not a 500-piece one."

Salthouse said while the second wing was the favourite, there was little performance difference compared to the first, which it used to clinch the Challenger Finals against Artemis.

Team New Zealand meets Oracle TeamUSA on Sunday morning for the first two races, in the first-to-seven encounter.

New Zealand starts on minus one point, because Oracle won a bonus point at the start of the regatta, so it needs eight wins.

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