Kiwis Launch First America’s Cup AC75

Author:
Publish date:
Emirates Team New Zealand’s first AC75 monohull prepares to enter the water for the first time

Emirates Team New Zealand’s first AC75 monohull prepares to enter the water for the first time

Roughly a year and a half after the publication of the class rule governing the type of boat to used for Emirates Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup defense in 2021, the Kiwis have now launched their first full-foiling AC75 Class monohull.

Integrating a number of “stock” AC75-supplied parts that will be identical for all competitors (including the foil arms, the foil cant system and the shape and base laminate of the mast), the boat took over 100,000 man-hours to design and build, will be sailed by a crew of 11 and weighs all of 14,560lb—roughly the same as a cruising boat less than half its LOA.

“This is a significant occasion for the team, not just because it is another new boat, but really because when we won the America’s Cup in 2017 we very quickly had to come up with a new concept of boat that would really continue to push the boundaries of innovation and technology in the America’s Cup,” said ETNZ COO Kevin Shoebridge. “Seeing it in the flesh today is an amazing testament to the entire team willing to push things all the way from concept to design to build and fit-out.”

“There’s a huge amount of innovation in the design and build of the AC75, more than we saw in the AC50’s in Bermuda,” added ETNZ head of design Dan Bernasconi. “The AC75 is a completely new concept and has presented plenty of challenges across many areas. But this is precisely what the Rule was designed to do, to push development to the extreme… It’s not long until we need to commit to the design of our second boat, which we will ultimately race in the 2021 America’s Cup, so we need to test as many of our ideas as possible in the yacht we’re launching today.”

Unlike some of the other teams now challenging for the Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand has developed its first boat entirely through the use of in-house simulation, as opposed to building a smaller-scale test boat, like the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic and INEOS Team UK. As a result, when the new AC75 goes for its maiden sail, it will be the first time the entire team has sailed together since winning the America’s Cup in Bermuda on June 26, 2017.

“It won’t be without nerves the first time we go sailing, but I am sure that is no different for all of the teams,” said ETNZ veteran Glenn Ashby. “The AC75’s are big, powerful and fast boats, so they will be a handful, but from our understanding through our simulations they are inherently a safer boat to sail than what we have sailed in the past two America’s Cups. As with any new boat it is all about slowly getting it up to speed, learning how to sail it most efficiently, [and then] pushing the development of the design.”

The AC75 is a 75ft, high-performance monohull governed by the AC75 Class Rule, which was published in March 2018. The rule was intended to be open enough to guarantee a wide margin of freedom to the designers but also includes the aforementioned one-design elements, in the interest of keeping costs under control. In practice, the most visible differences between the different boats will be seen in their hull shapes and deck layouts, since despite a number of basic constraints, including length, there are few significant limits on shape or structure. Design teams will also be looking for a design that minimizes drag in light-wind displacement mode while also addressing the stability required to generate thrust for takeoff into full-foiling mode.

For more on ETNZ’s new boat, visit 

September 2019

Related

Untitled-1

ASA Presents Webinars with Peter Isler

Social distancing keeping you away from the boat? The ASA is here to help, announcing three webinars for improving your sailing without leaving home. They will be hosted by Emmy-winning sailing broadcaster and ASA co-founder Peter Isler. The webinars will cover topics such as ...read more

ASA-2048

Get out and Sail: Virtually

Just because you’re stuck at home self-quarantining, that’s no reason you can’t still hone your skills or teach someone else you know about boathandling with the American Sailing Association’s online Sailing Challenge game. Created in cooperation with Nolan Bushnell, a longtime ...read more

200324-VirtualSailing-2048

Time to Try Virtual Sailboat Racing?

Stuck at home self-quarantining? How about giving on-line sailboat racing a try? Begun in 2010 and now working in partnership with sailing’s international governing body, World Sailing, Virtual Regatta has long allowed fans to take an active part in everything from the Vendée ...read more

2003-ICW

How Risky is the ICW with Covid-19?

Being a cruising sailor, one is already practicing a kind of social distancing. But coastal cruisers, and those transiting the Intracoastal Waterway, in particular, still have to return to land for re-provisioning and things like water, fuel, and pump-outs. When you dock in a ...read more

05-Q&A-190826-11HRT-AMO-team-announcement-113

A Chat with Charlie Enright

Rhode Island native Charlie Enright, 35, has competed in not one but two Volvo Ocean Races (VOR), with Team Alvimedica in 2014-15 and Vestas 11th Hour Racing 2017-18. More recently, Enright and 11th Hour Racing have announced they plan to compete in The Ocean Race, the successor ...read more

06-Smoke-on-the-waterways,-SC

Cruising: a Long Haul North

There are many mantras experienced cruisers like to pass on to those less experienced. First and foremost among these is: “Never sail to a schedule.” After that comes: “Choose your weather window carefully.” Unfortunately, this past spring, my husband, Brian, and I violated both ...read more

The-Solent's-rough-seas-and-harsh-weahter-teach-valuable-skills-for-any-serious-sailor-(by-Eric-Vohr)

How to Become a Yacht Master

Learning to sail is an organic process. Often we’re introduced to the sport by a family member or good friend who loves sailing and wants to share their passion. As such, one learns in bits and pieces. The problem is you can end up with lots of missing bits, and thus many ...read more

IMG_2012

Experience: Threading the Needle in a Thick Fog

It was a dark night, utterly black. Any light was blanketed by the fog. My chartplotter was night-blinding me. I looked at the Navionics map on my phone, waited half a second for my eyes to adjust and then looked at the depthsounder. After that, I looked ahead to where Laura was ...read more