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Saturday, April 22, 2017
Team New Zealand Hit the Great Sound

Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby is relieved after testing the boat for the first time on the America's Cup race course in Bermuda.

The Kiwi boat was put through its paces at the weekend in 10 to 12 knots on the tropical blue flat water in the Great Sound.

Ashby had been like "cat on a hot tin roof" waiting to get back on the New Zealand Aotearoa craft.

"When you look at the calendar it actually hasn't been too long since we last sailed in Auckland, but everything that has happened between times, packing up, flying the boat here and rebuilding it has made it seem a lot longer, the team has done a huge push to get us on the water as soon as possible," Ashby told the Team NZ website.

He said it was more about a recommissioning of the systems and components to make sure everything was working properly.

"But it was really fantastic to get back out there and get a taste of the race course first hand for the first time. It is pretty apparent already that this is going to be a really great regatta up here."

Helmsman Peter Burling quipped on a TNZ video that there were "a few boats with very expensive cameras from a few of the syndicates" following the New Zealand boat's progress.

Team NZ relaunched their race boat with their replacement daggerboards while the finishing repairs continue to be made to their race boards which were damaged in Auckland.

"We would have preferred to have our race boards back in the boat, but we need to be sure the repairs are 100 per cent right so we don't want to rush the repair. Hopefully we will have them come back online very shortly," Ashby said.

With just 34 days to go until the first race of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifiers the urgency for continued development looms large and the team will be making the most of each day, the varying conditions as well as new equipment coming on line.
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