America’s Cup contender Emirates Team New Zealand has launched a new testing yacht at its Beaumont Street base in Auckland.
The would-be challenger splashed its latest AC45 foiling yacht on June 21 in a private ceremony. The racing yacht was christened by Lady Margaret Tindall and blessed by the Ngati Whatua tribe, as the video below shows:
Sean Regan, construction manager for Emirates Team New Zealand, said: “This is certainly the most complicated boat we have ever built.
“The amount of detail and systems that go into the construction of this boat is astonishing. This has been a huge effort by our guys in the shed to create such an amazing piece of machinery, and of course the designers who have been pushing the design throughout the construction process.”
Built to AC45 racing specifications, the new Emirates Team New Zealand testing yacht took six months to build and involved more than 35,000 man hours.
America’s Cup rules dictate the wing shape, deck layout, and the shape of the foiling catamaran hull, however design coordinator Dan Bernasconi was keen to stress that it is the small details and hidden systems that make the difference between winning and losing:
“We have purposely pushed the boundaries hard with the design of this boat – we had to. We will be playing catch-up with the other teams, who have had boats on the water for a long time now,” he added.
“Although we’re late to the party, a huge amount of research and development has gone into this project, and we’re confident that we’re launching a boat that is as advanced as that of any of our competitors.”
Emirates Team New Zealand added that the information gathered from sailing their testing yacht around the Hauraki Gulf will inform the final design of their finished America’s Cup yacht, which is due to be launched in early 2017.
Skipper Glenn Ashby concluded: “We expect the arrival of some inquisitive competitors with cameras and long lenses to begin showing up in the next few days subsequent to this launch. We think the focus will now shift from Bermuda to Auckland for a while.”