Team New Zealand lose two more crewmembers to US America's Cup syndiate 17/03/08

Team New Zealand (TNZ) had more bad news this week. Their America’s Cup syndicate lost two key members to Oracle, this time from its shore crew: sail designer Robert Hook; and the boss of Team New Zealand’s sail loft Craig Phillips.

Hook was right-hand man to chief sail designer Burn Fallow, and Phillips took care of the team’s day-to-day sail operations and maintenance. Although New Zealand is blessed with many first-rate sail-makers, the pair’s departure will be a blow. The US syndicate will now be privy to many of TNZ’s design ideas.

Oracle hired crew member Jono Macbeth last year, and TNZ boss Grant Dalton confirmed about a third of his team are on the market having been laid off while the cup remains in limbo due to court action.

South African and German syndicates that sailed in the last cup and had entered the 33rd edition, on the provision it went ahead in 2009, went bust during the week. Although court action was pending they could not hold on any longer.