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If being made to sign a waiver before you hop on board Team New Zealand’s second super-sleek AC72, Aotearoa, isn’t enough to make one nervous, being thrown a helmet and oxygen bottle as you leave the chase boat certainly is. But in this brave new world of extreme sailing, even we reporters need to adjust.
Skipper Yann Guichard and his brother Jacques both had to be airlifted by helicopter to a local hospital for treatment after the MOD70 trimaran Spindrift capsized during one of the inshore races of the Route de Princes race off Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.
Everything having to do with this year’s America’s Cup seems faster than ever—even the trickle-down effect. In April, as part of the Strictly Sail show in Oakland, California, the veteran multihull design firm Morrelli & Melvin—which helped write the AC72 rule and is a part of the Emirates Team New Zealand design team—revealed it already has a 45ft production foiling catamaran in the works.
Secrecy is as much a part of the America’s Cup as the “Auld Mug” itself, and AC34 has been no exception. That said, it’s hard to hide what you’re up to aboard a full-foiling catamaran; no more hiding your underwater appendages behind a skirt as you take the boat in and out of the water.