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The Endless Summer  Feb 5, 10:56

jesmOur Downunder Correspondent, Jane Eagleson, checks in with this update from Auckland Monday evening their time, with this excerpt from the Sail Mail newsletter that is emailed to our partners, family and friends around the world:

The calendar has turned to February and the countdown continues as we get closer and closer to the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup. The team is in final stages of preparation in all areas of the program and the momentum is building.

The goal for the sailing team is to leave New Zealand race-ready. The guys have been logging long days on the Hauraki Gulf with USA 71 and USA 98. The excellent New Zealand conditions have given the team the chance to sail USA 98 in a full spectrum of conditions from the 5-7 knots through to 28. While there is still plenty of work to do, Chris and the crew are feeling upbeat about where they are, and are pleased with the amount of time they have had together on the water during this winter training session. The focus is on race training as the guys push each other daily in practice starts and in-house races. Sten Mohr (DEN) has been driving USA 71 as the tune-up helmsman for the Chris and crew on USA 98.

We are on a six-day-a-week program, making the most of the time we have here. Scotty Crawford and Paul Wallbank get the guys to the gym at 0630 to jump-start their day. Ben Harland and Harry Lynskey cook up a storm in the morning to get crawfordboth breakfast and lunch ready. The boats are launched and prepared for the day’s sailing, and by 1030 the guys are off the dock. Some evenings they are not back before 1900, but one of the beauties of the New Zealand summer is having daylight until after 2100 -- so we are making the most of these long summer days.

The forecast calls for strong winds tomorrow (Tuesday) so the team has called a vltrophymaintenance day. Periodic maintenance days are important to ensure the boats are well-serviced to avoid breakdowns.

Today, the fans of American football on the sailing team asked those on shore to stay mum on the results of the Super Bowl. The game was taped and we will be gathering after work to watch the game together.

We are very pleased that BMW New Zealand and Girard-Perregaux have teamed up here in Auckland to host a reception later this week. Girard-Perregaux is new to the 2995_base_big_prNZ market, and will take the opportunity of the team’s presence here to launch the brand, alongside BMW, and with the support of their NZ retailer, Partridge Jewellers. Girard-Perregaux will preview the limited edition BMW ORACLE Racing collection of Swiss timepieces at Team McMillan BMW on Thursday evening, with many of our team members here attending the event.

Meanwhile back in Valencia, updates to USA 87 are underway in preparation for our two-boating there in March. And the marketing team is in full swing finalizing the VIP guest program for the Louis Vuitton Cup. With 10,000 guests expected during the April-June racing, Mirko and his team have plenty to do in preparation for our sponsor-partners and guests.

Hard to believe that two months from today we'll be in the middle of Act 13, with only eleven days to the start of the LVC.

Tune-up helmsman Sten Mohr (DEN) has been doing a good job driving USA-71.

Summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Soon it will be back to Valencia for the final installment, at least for this edition of the Cup, of The Endless Summer.