Emirates Team New Zealand today completed the permitted 30 days of testing and training in its first AC72 catamaran.
Rules for the 34th America’s Cup allowed only 30 sailing days for the first boat between July 2012 and the end of January 2013.
Chris Cameron’s pictures from today – the last lift from Boat 1 – are here.
Tomorrow the shore crew starts to decommission the yacht while the team concentrates on finishing Boat 2.
Winch drums and some hardware will be removed from the yacht and fitted to Boat 2.
Boat 1 will be refitted in the near future and held in reserve, to be commissioned quickly in the event it’s needed.
Components for the new boat are being built at Auckland companies Cookson Boats and Southern Spars. The second wing is being assembled now at the team’s Viaduct Harbour base. Hulls, beams and other parts of the platform will be delivered to the base early in January for a launch in early February.
Managing director Grant Dalton said the team was fortunate to be able to complete the sailing programme in good time, giving plenty of time to commission Boat 2.
“We never considered sailing both boats together because of the logistics and cost involved.
“It takes 35 people 1½ hours to launch the AC72. Three hours out of morning to launch two 72s and three hours at the other end of the day to retrieve them is out of the question.
“The only solution would to have two separate operations to launch, retrieve, maintain and improve two AC72s and that is not a realistic prospect for Emirates Team New Zealand.”
He said the team would gain many of the benefits by racing with another boat through the arrangement with Luna Rossa.