America’s Cup: Double the fun for Kiwis

Published on December 16th, 2022

When Emirates Team New Zealand buried the bow of their AC40 on November 21 while testing in waves on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, the result was significant damage to the forward sections of the hull and deck structure. The bow had literally folded… not good.

“The boat ought to be able to do that sort of thing,” noted Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton, so the designers looked at the data and found the structural shortcomings, prompting an internal reinforcement upgrade to be added to the boats. No problem!

On December 16, Emirates Team New Zealand made a return to Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf on their newly repaired AC40 for its first sail since the nosedive causing bow structure damage just over three weeks ago.

It has been a busy time for the shore team and boat builders behind the shed doors of the team base, who have simultaneously been implementing the increased structure to the damaged boat 1, as well as taking delivery and preparing the teams second AC40 for its maiden sail next week.

While the Protocol dictates the second AC40 built goes to the Challenger of Record, INEOS Britannia, their friendly relationship has apparently given it to the defender. While the Brits do have their own test boat they designed and built, releasing their delivery slot now gives the Kiwi team an advantage.

“It has been 15 years since Emirates Team New Zealand has been running two boats at the same time. It goes all the way back to 2007 when we had two IACC boats,” said team COO Kevin Shoebridge.

“It is nothing we have not done before but it certainly isn’t an easy operation. It takes planning and processes, but we have a really impressive shore team that will ensure we can not only manage it effectively but get optimal benefit from the two-boat program.”

Following the publication of the AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule on November 17, 2021, the AC75 Class Rule and AC Technical Regulations were finalized on March 17, 2022. The entry period opened December 1, 2021 and runs until July 31, 2022, but late entries for the 37th America’s Cup may be accepted until May 31, 2023. The Defender was to announce the Match Venue on September 17, 2021 but postponed the venue reveal, confirming it would be Barcelona on March 30, 2022. The 37th America’s Cup will be held in September/October 2024.

Teams revealed to challenge defender Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
INEOS Britannia (GBR)
Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI)
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA)
NYYC American Magic (USA)

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