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Dalton to be part of Team NZ's 'positive' future

Tuesday 10 Dec 2013 6:11 p.m.

Grant Dalton says Emirates Team New Zealand's future is looking positive and, importantly, he will be a part of it.

Dalton has been busy. He's just returned home from Europe where he met with sponsors and launched a recruitment drive. 

The Team New Zealand boss says he is reinvigorated.

Two-and-a-half months since the last America's Cup race in San Francisco, Dalton is still hard at work. A big part of that has been re-signing personnel, and despite initially thinking his own time might be up, the positive response from the public and the team has re-lit the fire.

"They've made that commitment to live in New Zealand and be part of this organisation, and that motivates me because I'm responsible for that - to make sure that the kids can go to school and they can buy houses. So yeah, I'll be around," he says.

The biggest factor in the team's future will be what boats they'll sail, and when and where the next regatta will be. Until then Dalton will do his best to form the sponsorship puzzle.

"You've got to put all those pieces together, and if they all come together, then you're away. We think we'll see something in March and then it's flat out getting it done."

Dalton admits the team also needs to look to the future. That will include a second boat on the World Series circuit, with Olympic silver medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke - part of the winning youth America's Cup crew - likely candidates.

"We need to breed the new Dean Barkers and people to take over from me and everybody really," he says. "And particularly with the Government staying involved, that has to be a thrust going forward.

"Even if we'd done that extra 500 metres and won it 9-1, we'd still have to make changes because the guys are getting older and now Emirates Team New Zealand is a brand that must live forever. It's got to breed its new people coming through."

The news is also looking positive for local sailing fans.

Auckland could host a stop on the World Series - that's if Team New Zealand are in the race.

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