100 days out from the first race of the 35th America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand have accomplished the most significant milestone of the team’s challenge for the 35th Americas Cup by christening their America’s Cup Class (ACC) catamaran that will begin racing in Bermuda in May.
In front of the team, their families, Sponsors and official suppliers, the boat was christened in Auckland by Tina Symmans, member of the Board of Directors of Emirates Team New Zealand, and blessed by Ngati Whatua.
The ACC boat, 15 meters long with a 25-metre wingsail, is the result of the team working six- and seven-day weeks since July 2016. All the boat’s components were built in New Zealand involving works at Southern Spars, Cookson Boats and C Tech, with the meticulous fit out process being done at the team base.
“The guys have just been working so incredibly hard to get to this point. Some guys have been working 12+ hour days everyday without a day off since the 3rd of January. The fact we are the first team to go sailing on the race boat, considering how late we were compared to the other teams is an unbelievable testament to the drive, focus and determination this very special team has collectively.” said Shore Team Manager Sean Regan.
“There is a true belief that this team can take on the five other Goliaths and win this thing.”
The most evident innovation of the Emirates Team New Zealand racing boat is the cycling grinding system the team is using to produce the energy to power the hydraulic systems throughout the boat.
Emirates Team New Zealand Design Coordinator Dan Bernasconi: “When we sat down to think about the overall design of this boat three years ago the benefits of cycling opposed to regular grinding were obvious, but certainly not without issues and difficulty with functionality, and this is what we have been working incredibly hard on overcoming for the past three years.
“Winning the next America’s Cup is all about maintaining a stable flight on the entire race course and that’s the reason why this boat contains some of the most innovative and powerful technology ever used in this competition in its systems, electronics, hydraulics and foil designs.”
The emphasis of the campaign now moves from inside the confines of the boat shed to the open water of the Hauraki Gulf, led by Skipper and Sailing Team Director Glenn Ashby.
“It’s been a challenge to get to this point, and the first sailing has been a very special moment for the entire team” said Ashby. “The next few months of sailing and development with our race boat will be some of the most important in this America’s Cup. We’ll do a month of intensive testing here in Auckland, then we will suspend the test programme and move to Bermuda where we will resume our training until racing starts on May 26th.”
The ACC boat "New Zealand" in numbers:
2332-2432 kg: boat weight
60 meters: optical fibres
25 meters: height of wing above water
over 46 knots: top speed
6: crew members
90: Emirates Team New Zealand’s members