INEOS Team UK claimed that a “small hydraulics problem” was the reason that they abandoned the Practice race sessions in Auckland.
Following the intense speculations around the no-show of the British America’s Cup team for two days of practice racing, after they retired with an apparent mast problem during the first session last Tuesday, the team said that they were working to fix a hydraulic system problem.
When they did not appear for the following two day of practice racing, speculation over their poor performance compared with the New Zealand team’s boat was featured in the media.
The Kiwi boat appeared on all three days and gave a bravura performance of speed and handling ability.
The situation was further emphasised, when first American Magic failed to show on the second day and then Italy’s Luna Rossa stayed ashore on the third day, leaving the ETNZ boat to demonstrate their reliability and boat performance alone.
This sparked a deluge of local media comment that the challengers were desperately working to find improvements to their yachts in the face of the superior Kiwi performance.
Luna Rossa claimed that their team members were tired after the first two days long sessions.
The reason for American Magic not appearing is not known.
The British team said that they hoped to be back on the water on Monday.
The ACWS and Christmas Race event starts on Thursday 17 December, when all four teams will race in competition for the first time.