After defending the America’s Cup for the first time the previous year, Team New Zealand embarked on their second campaign to defend it in 2001. In this excerpt from Sailnz.tv's first episode, the team embark on a mission to get the whole country behind them. They send four Etchells — a type of small sailboat — around Aotearoa, racing against locals in small regattas. Regatta director Russell Green discusses the enthused response, while Team NZ skipper Dean Barker muses on how the 2003 defence is just around the corner. Team NZ lost the cup to Swiss syndicate Alinghi, skippered by Russell Coutts, who'd led the Kiwi team to victory in 2000.
The clubs are very enthusiastic already. The Bay of Islands I've been talking to this morning and their biggest is actually selecting who's going to sail, and I know in Tauranga they're running a selection series already.– Regatta director Russell Green on local enthusiasm for the event