As preparations continue for the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai, two of the four race boats being used in the event sailed for the first time at the venue on Sunday afternoon.
At 1300, All4One and Emirates Team New Zealand went sailing for an afternoon testing session in the two boats supplied by the Kiwi team. The other two boats for the event, from BMW ORACLE Racing, will go out on Monday.
All4One tactician John Cutler (NZL) said his team had a productive first sail in Dubai, but will step up the intensity on Monday.
“Everyone arrived in Dubai late last night so we were a bit jet-lagged but we wanted to get out there and get on the water and start sailing,” he explained. “We did a few tacks, spinnaker hoists, gybes, drops and just went through our paces. We had about 15 knots of breeze, so it was a really nice day of sailing.”
Matti Paschen (GER), the spinnaker trimmer, has spent a lot of time sailing off the coast here with Team Sea Dubai, in the RC 44 Class. He says this time of year typically brings sea breeze conditions, ideal for racing.
“We can expect good conditions,” he says. “Usually every day you get a sea breeze filling in at around 1300, maybe 10 knots. It’s normally very consistent. For racing, it’s ideal.”
He says the team was shaking out the cobwebs today, relearning the routines necessary to work the boat around the race course with 17 crew working in concert.
“We haven’t been on a Cup boat since La Maddalena, and you really need to work together on these boats, so we’re just getting into it again, but it’s coming along well already.”
Also coming together is the Race Village. The Dubai International Marine Club is a hub of activity with final preparations well underway.
The Race Village is scheduled to open on Friday, with the teams taking testing sessions on the race boats all week. The opening press conference for the regatta is on Friday evening, with racing in the first round robin to begin on Sunday.
The Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the Principal Sponsor of the event.