In two months, Team New Zealand will have permission to launch.
Earlier this week, the Defender of the America’s Cup gave their two-month notice to the recon panel indicating their intention to launch their new AC75 in April.
It was a feature of the technical regulations for the America’s Cup campaign that teams had to provide the Recon Management Panel and a recon administrator with a two-month notice period before launching the vessel they hoped to claim the Auld Mug on.
Though an official launch date is yet to be set by Team New Zealand, they were the first to send in their message of intent, with Alinghi Red Bull Racing and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli also alerting the appropriate parties of their plans for an April launch.
Given the distance between Auckland and the Cup venue in Barcelona, it is not a huge surprise to see the team of the Defender be the first able to launch. Speaking to the Herald late last month, Team New Zealand chief executive officer Kevin Shoebridge said they would be launching with plenty of time to iron out any kinks.
“The building is well-progressed now, but then you’ve got to go through a sort of a fit-out period which takes time as well, with all the mechatronics and hydraulics and all the rest of it,” he explained.
“We’ll still sail here in Auckland for a short period of time before we hop on a ship and head for Barcelona, but our intention is to sail early July in Barcelona, which gives us a good amount of time with a new boat up there.”
The Kiwis have had to factor in the time it will take to get their new AC75 from Auckland to the city in the northeast of Spain, with the shipping time between the two cities of approximately six weeks.
With the team planning to be on the water in Barcelona early in July, they could not have waited much longer to get their boat launched.
The team got a feel for the conditions in Barcelona on a big boat last year when they had their second-generation – and 36th America’s Cup winning – AC75 Te Rehutai out on the water, but it will be a very different feeling when they are next in that situation.
“We had a very good summer in Barcelona last year, and I think that’s put us in a nice position in a lot of ways.
“It was really beneficial, not only for our sailing team but also for our design team, understanding the conditions more sailing on the actual water and the actual seaway.”
Over the last few weeks, Team New Zealand have been busy in Auckland putting the last of their four test foils through their paces on the LEQ12 on the Hauraki Gulf as they edged closer to having to make a decision on their race foils.
The Kiwis made the strategic decision of leaving their last couple of test foils until late in the design process to allow the designers more time to develop and learn.
When asked how close the new test foils were to their final product, Shoebridge wasn’t giving anything away.
“I’m not going to tell you that,” he quipped.
“It’s more a matter of a certain direction that you might be getting... we’re not far away from having to make those calls.”
“It’s not as though you’re looking for a silver bullet out of one of them. There’s features that you might find on all of them that you would like to use, so they really are test foils; just trying different things and different concepts, plus, you know, looking at what everyone else is doing at the same time.”
America’s Cup teams planning an April AC75 launch
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZ)
Alinghi Red Bull Racing (Switzerland)
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (Italy)
Yet to provide two-month notice
Ineos Britannia (UK)
American Magic (USA)
Orient Express Racing Team (France)
Christopher Reive joined the Herald sports team in 2017, bringing the same versatility to his coverage as he does to his sports viewing habits.
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