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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ take glimpse back but always focus ahead

by Hamish Hooper/ETNZ media 17 Mar 01:46 GMT
AC40 hull mould - male plug the shape is modelled on an upgraded version of AC36 winner Te Rehutai - America's Cup © America's Cup Media

March 17th is one of those few dates that will always evoke a brief moment of quiet satisfaction for Emirates Team New Zealand team members who toiled away for the prior four years for that very brief moment of glory. Here's a look at what has been achieved 12 months on since the win on March 17, 2021

Successful America's Cup campaigns are not just about the ultimate objective without ticking off the hundreds of small milestones, projects and objectives along the way. So, like time itself, the team does not ever standstill. There is no point in wallowing in reflected glory, the other teams won't be wasting any time on it, but every now and then it is helpful to step back and look at what has been achieved to refocus on what's ahead.

The Covid disrupted 365 days since March 17 2021 which included 4 months lockdown have been busy for the team which has already built to around 70 staff.

AC40's:

The dynamic and multi-purpose AC40's that will be used for the Women's and Youth America's Cup events, for preliminary regattas as well as testing and development by the teams, have been designed from scratch by the Emirates Team New Zealand design team and are already in production. 8 boats are already on order, with delivery of boat #1 in July this year, set to hit the water soon after.

Hydrogen Foiling Chase Boat:

In a bold step towards driving more sustainable initiatives in the global marine sector the Emirates Team New Zealand design and production team and partners have designed and built a 10m prototype boat currently in fit out at the ETNZ base expected to start on water commissioning early next month.

AC37 Protocol The Protocol governing the 37th America's Cup was created and published 15th November 2021 in conjunction with the Challenger of Record Ineos Britannia. The 81-page document outlines the rules that govern the event on and off the water and introduces the first ever Women's America's Cup to the event.

AC75 Class Rule:

The creation of the Class Rule and all of the specific detailed design parameters for the next generation of AC75's that will be raced in the 37th America's Cup.

Five entered Teams:

Joining The Defender Emirates Team New Zealand and the Challenger of Record Ineos Britannia, Luna Rossa and American Magic have returned and are entered as well as two time America's Cup winners Alinghi returning as Alinghi Red Bull Racing after a 10 year break from the America's Cup. They are a second team partnered with a Formula 1 powerhouse setting up what will be one of the strongest line up of Challengers the event has ever seen.

Wind-powered Land Speed Record:

Utilising a window of opportunity in the transition between AC activities, the wind powered land speed world record project has been keeping the Emirates Team New Zealand design and production sharp with the build well under way and world record attempt scheduled for August this year.

For Emirates Team New Zealand COO Kevin Shoebridge, one year ago seems like a lot longer than that, "When you do look at what the team has achieved in the year since we won the 36th America's Cup, it is quite astonishing really. A lot gets overlooked with outside distractions, but the achievements so far are already pushing innovation and technology of the team and the New Zealand marine sector globally. When you are buried in it and getting the work done it just feels like the team is operating as it does normally. Focused on the tasks that lead towards the end goal and only objective of winning."

The obvious outstanding piece of the puzzle that remains for the Defender in what has been a huge year is the venue announcement for the 37th America's Cup. Perhaps the one aspect that has more consistent work put into it, and one that has had more attention than anything.

"Being the Defender there are always going distractions which are aimed to disrupt. It has always been this way in the America's Cup. But when the team is doing what it does well and focusing on what they must do to both win and grow the sport of sailing it isn't hard to remain positive and focused." Said Shoebridge.

"The venue is getting there... it's the next cab off the rank."

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