Kiwi Team Drops the Mic

Published on September 28th, 2016

With the advance of summer to the southern hemisphere, Emirates Team New Zealand likes being in home waters while the other five America’s Cup teams face the approach of winter at their northern hemisphere bases.

The Kiwi team has been lying low, quietly chipping away and making gains on the water with their first in-house designed and built AC45 test boat. Their Olympic gold medalists – Peter Burling and Blair Tuke – are back in camp, and skipper Glenn Ashby has been relishing the opportunity to be out sailing despite the bitter conditions of the fading winter season.

“It has been cold and windy a lot of the time,” notes Ashby. “We have had our fair share of ups and downs over the last few weeks, but we are making some fantastic gains.”

Much has been made of how the boats will eventually get around the race course and Ashby agrees with a lot of the talk and what we will be seeing in Bermuda next year. “The ultimate goal is to keep the hull dry around the track, so the testing phase we are in the moment is trying to come up with systems and techniques of how we actually get the boats around the track.”

2016-09-28_12-38-50In typical understated fashion, the Kiwi team has released a video that shows some of their progress. After the Japanese- and American-flagged teams shared videos proudly revealing their foiling tack development, the Kiwi video offers a quick glimpse of what may be the sweetest tack yet.

At the end of the video, Ashby concludes, “I think we are going okay.”

Drop the mic!

Background: The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) racing circuit forms part of the 35th America’s Cup programme, with ACWS scoring contributing to the selection of the 2017 America’s Cup Challenger. The ACWS will feature fleet racing in one design foiling AC45 catamarans.

ACWS 2015
July 25-26: Portsmouth, UK
August 29-30: Gothenberg, Sweden
October 17-18: Bermuda

ACWS 2016

February 27-28: Muscat, Oman
May 7-8: New York, USA
June 11-12: Chicago, USA
July 23-24: Portsmouth, UK
September 10-11: Toulon, France
November 19-20: Fukuoka, Japan

Using a format of fleet racing in foiling, wing-sailed 45ft catamarans, the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) winner will be the team with the most points accumulated from all the ACWS events.

In 2017, the six teams (5 challengers and 1 defender) will compete in the new 15-meter AC Class, beginning with the America’s Cup Qualifiers, a double round robin match racing series which will reduce the five challengers to the top four teams. In this series, the winner of the America’s Cup World Series starts the America’s Cup Qualifiers with a 2 point advantage (runner-up in ACWS begins with 1 point advantage).

At the conclusion of the America’s Cup Qualifiers, only the four challengers with the most points (each match win earns 1 point) advance to the final stage to determine the challenger which will face the defender in the 35th America’s Cup. Complete schedule.

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