Team NZ unveil new yacht
Wed, 18 Jul 2012 6:42p.m.
By Greg Pearson
The next generation of America’s Cup yacht has made it's first public appearance, with Team New Zealand rolling their AC 72 out for the first time.
The boat has now caught the attention of their cup rivals.
After 65,000 man hours of build time, and 50 man-years of work by the design team, another piece of Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup challenge has gently fallen into place - even if that piece of the jigsaw is a 40m high winged sail.
Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton is feeling excited.
“Just real pride that we've managed to get to this stage. [At the] end of 2010 I didn't think that we'd survive financially, but the guys have worked hard and they're continuing to work immensely hard. I think they've done 35 days straight, 16 hour days to get us to this point.”
The boat will be officially launched and named at a public ceremony on Saturday, but that didn't stop their rivals getting an early look today with the Kiwis first of the cup teams to hit the water.
“I think any sailing time is a gain time now, and I see Oracle who were planning on doing some sailing time in Northland have cancelled that now, so that tells me Oracle are late.”
Construction on a second cat will get underway in the coming months, and with cup rules restricting the team to just 30 sailing days between now and the end of January, the lifespan of the first cat could be very limited.
“It's possible this boat might only sail 30 times. I hadn't really thought about it like that before, but a second boat will come along in February and we'll start focusing on that, because already we can make gains, [I’ve] already seen that on paper. But this is a really important test bed for us because we really don't know until we start flying down the harbour at 40 knots what's going to happen.”
After Saturday’s launch, the team plans to use the first of those 30 sailing days as early as next week.
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