Peter Lester backs Team NZ's call to abandon cyclors: 'It gives the sport back to sailors'

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Former America's Cup sailor turned sailing commentator Peter Lester has fully backed Team New Zealand's decision not to include 'cyclors' in the next rendition of the prestigious regatta.

The former America's Cup sailor turned commentator says the decision won't stop teams hunting for different engineering advantages though.
Source: Breakfast

The cycling feature only used by the Kiwi sailors at this year's America's Cup was a cornerstone of their successful campaign, but Team NZ boss Grant Dalton has ruled it out with the boat class moving from foiling catamarans to foiling monohulls.

Dalton yesterday told La Stampa that "grinders are coming back".

Lester told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning the decision to re-introduce grinders to racing was about getting competitors to do the jobs on the boat instead of technology.

"Especially the functions on the boat where you have people doing the jobs like bringing in the sails - using man power instead of hydraulic power," he said.

"It's giving the sport back to sailors which I'm in favour of."

Lester said it also gives hope back to young sailors.

"Say you're sailing at your local yacht club around the country and you're a young kid, your goal is probably to go to the Olympics and or the America's Cup," he said.

"With the automation that was used, especially on the Team New Zealand boat in Bermuda, the opportunities for young sailors are very, very limited.

"What this is doing, going back to a big boat, it's going to require probably in the region of 12-14 sailors on board - they will actually have to sail the boat."

Dalton told La Stampa more information would be released on November 30.

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