America’s Cup: Kiwis launch Cup boat
Published on November 19th, 2020
Auckland, New Zealand (November 19, 2020) – Emirates Team New Zealand revealed its second generation AC75 to the world this evening at its base in Auckland’s Viaduct. It is the boat that will be used to defend the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada in just over 100 days’ time.
The boat was blessed by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and proudly christened ‘Te Rehutai’ by Lady Margaret Tindall in a ceremony in front of close to 900 friends, family, sponsors, suppliers, and supporters of the team. The Auckland-based Māori hapū (sub-tribe) also named both Te Rehutai’s predecessors, Te Aihe and Te Kāhu.
Taiaha Hawke from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei explained the significance of the name: “Te Rehutai: Where the essence of the ocean invigorates and energizes our strength and determination.”
Te Rehutai is the last of the second generation AC75s to be launched across the AC36 teams. The fleet of boats that will lock horns in 2021 are now on display for the eagle eye enthusiasts to pore over the finer details with the common understanding that the fastest boat has always won the America’s Cup.
For Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton, boat launches are always a particularly proud day for the entire team.
“These occasions are special because they give you a quick opportunity to take a moment and be proud of what has been achieved. But not by a long stretch is this the end, we still have a huge amount to achieve in the next four months if we are to win the America’s Cup again.”
Emirates Team New Zealand COO Kevin Shoebridge explains the effort to get Te Rehutai on the water. “We had our launch date for our race boat in the calendar for probably close to a year. So it really is a huge feat that we are here launching Te Rehutai today considering we lost five weeks of build time in the first COVID-19 lock down.”
“We’ve been searching for the perfect balance between hydrodynamic and aerodynamic performance,” explains Dan Bernasconi, Head of Design. “An AC75 that was optimized purely to accelerate and take-off would look very different to one which was optimized for steady-flight – and that’s reflected in the huge variation we see between our Competitors’ yachts in the fleet.
“Te Rehutai is designed to excel in both domains – the water and the air – and we’re confident she’ll be competitive across the range of wind-speeds we may see in the America’s Cup.”
Across the team, Emirates Team New Zealand had to keep pushing the boundaries from everything that was learned testing with Te Aihe. There was always going to be a convergence of the design of the second generation of AC75’s so there is no room for complacency or being conservative.
However, as Bernasconi explains, there is an ongoing requirement to remain open minded and fluid in developments over the latter part of the campaign.
“We have confidence in our designs, our build, and our ideas. But in saying that we also need to be humble enough to realize that until we get out racing in one month’s time there isn’t much to say we are right and even then, we won’t have the full performance picture until March 6th. So we will be pushing our development as hard as possible to make sure we get as much speed and performance out of Te Rehutai as possible.”
The milestone that any launch signifies is the handover from the designers and the boat builders to the sailing team- the ultimate client.
“Getting a new toy is always exciting, but we are pretty much past the point of excitement already,” notes helm Peter Burling. “The next 2 weeks are some of the most crucial for the campaign in terms of continuing our development and getting ready to race for the first time in a matter of weeks.”
The sailing team have been off water for close to five weeks now spending long hours in the gym, and even more hours in the shed helping prepare Te Rehutai for launch.
“The guys are eager to get out on the water again,” said Burling. “The designers and boat builders have done their jobs, now it is time for the sailing team to do ours. The pressure is on for sure, but that’s where we are most comfortable so we can’t wait to race.”
Source: Team New Zealand
36th America’s Cup
In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and the Netherlands were also accepted. Here’s the list:
• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• INEOS Team UK (GBR)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) – WITHDRAWN
• Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA) – STATUS UNKNOWN
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAWN
Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, however, it is unclear what entry payments have been made, nor is there knowledge of a boat being actively built or sailing team assembled.
Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
✔ June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
✔ August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
✔ August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
✔ November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
✔ March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ 2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series events (CANCELLED)
✔ October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline (NOT KNOWN)
✔ February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ April 23-26, 2020: First (1/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia (CANCELLED)
✔ June 4-7, 2020: Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England (CANCELLED)
• December 17-20, 2020: Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
• January 15-February 22, 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
• March 6-15, 2021: The America’s Cup Match
Youth America’s Cup Competition (CANCELLED)
• February 18-23, 2021
• March 1-5, 2021
• March 8-12, 2021
AC75 launch dates:
September 6, 2019 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10, 2019 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2, 2019 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4, 2019 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1
October 16, 2020 – American Magic (USA), Boat 2
October 17, 2020 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 2
October 20, 2020 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 2
November 19, 2020 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 2