GBR Challenge has sent its first consignment of kit to Auckland in preparation for their winter of sail training on the America’s Cup track in Hauraki Gulf

The first load of Peter Harrison’s GBR Challenge equipment left Cowes for New Zealand on Saturday. GBR-44 was loaded onto a barge late on Friday night, in the first stage of her long journey to New Zealand.

This marks the start of the second phase in the British team’s preparations for the historic sailing event, the America’s Cup, as the syndicate begins moving equipment and personnel to New Zealand for the five month training session that will start in October. GBR-44 is part of the first shipment from the base to the southern hemisphere, which also includes five containers and a rib.

The activities began on Thursday when the barge came alongside the GBR Challenge base in Cowes. GBR-44 was launched and towed to Souters where she was lifted into the cradle and strapped to the barge, along with the mast and rib. Today the barge leaves for Tilbury, where the equipment will be loaded onto a P&O ship bound for Auckland.

The British America’s Cup team finish their preparations in the UK for the year with the America’s Cup Jubilee at the end of August. GBR-52 will then follow GBR-44 over to New Zealand at the beginning of September, with the Sailing Team making the journey at the end of the month for the training period in Hauraki Gulf.