Team New Zealand’s gleaming new ship, Te Rehutai, gave American Cup defenders a delightful surprise on their first day on the water.
Auckland’s Waitematā Harbor and Hauraki Bay offer breezes and relatively calm seas for the ship’s long-awaited debut appearance for a sailing team that Grant Dalton describes as “crazy” with the length of time they have to wait.
The Te Rehutai design has been in lockdown for more than nine months, with only simulations and speculation offering a glimpse into how the ship performs on water. However, star helmsman Peter Burling praised his debut.
“Maybe a little bit exceeding expectations, you know, to be able to get out there and do some good maneuvering with a little bit of a breeze,” Burling said in a statement after sailing.
“The boat feels really good, that’s what we’re after, so we’re quite happy with the first day, but we have a lot of hard work ahead.”
Fellow onscreen superstar Blair Tuke was also satisfied with the outing.
“It’s great for the whole team to see him flying out there, doing his job, after a lot of hard work from so many people to get to this point.”
American Magic captain and executive director Terry Hutchinson was also impressed with Team New Zealand’s new AC75, saying the design showcases the innovations that have been characteristic with the team’s Copa America campaign.
“You can see a lot of clever ideas and you can see the evolution they took from the first boat through their small test vessel which was probably a pretty important component of their second boat development,” he told Newstalk ZB.
“It’s an exciting time because, interestingly, there are some features on the ship that we saw on the INEOS, so there’s a lot of smart thinking going on. You know for sure the boat is going fast and you know there are a lot of smart people working on it. usual, you really respect what you see. “
American Magic and fellow challengers INEOS Team UK and Luna Rossa have been sailing on their second ship in Waitematā Harbor over the past few weeks, and Team New Zealand is expected to join them in the coming days as they prepare for the World Series event in Auckland in a month. .
Next month’s event will be the only chance for syndicates to race against each other before the challenger series. It has not been decided whether Team New Zealand will be allowed to take part in the warm-up event after claiming they were late with their entry fee.
That has led to another dispute between them and Notes challenger Luna Rossa, and is now likely to be in the hands of the Arbitration Panel.