They say the years get faster and this is guaranteed in every America’s Cup cycle. 2018 has just flown by and it has already been almost one year since the AC75 Class Rule was published. More than enough time for teams to have dissected every detail and produce designs for their build teams to be well into production of their AC75.
Synonymous with the America’s Cup is secrecy and at this crucial time most of the work is going on behind the scenes and insight into what is really happening within the team bases is nigh on impossible. The picture, of course, will become clearer towards the middle of the year when boat shed doors will begin to open revealing the first iterations of the AC75.
The AC75 will be one of the most revolutionary boats ever seen and recently was awarded – ‘Foiling Design’ and ‘Foiling Innovation’ categories – during the Foiling Awards at the Museo della Scienza in Milan. Despite the 3D models and the animations, it is difficult to really understand the scale and the behaviour of these foiling machines.
A first hint of the real scale of the AC75 boats has been illustrated by the prototype of the foil cant system (FCS) in action. During a number of visits to Auckland each challenger representative has witnessed the one design FCS that will be supplied to each team.
“The scale of the AC75 is for sure something that people have no idea about. You can only realise this when you see it first-hand!” said Dimitri Despierre of NYYC American Magic.
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Almost two years out from the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada – the pressure is rising and the need to keep one step ahead of the game leads the teams to be very careful with the information they put out for the public. Let’s see what news they have so far this year…
Emirates Team New Zealand is proud to have Steinlager return as an Official Sponsor and Official Beer Partner of Emirates Team New Zealand’s for the defence of the 36th America’s Cup – here on home waters in Auckland in 2021.
Steinlager has been a long time supporter of Emirates Team New Zealand dating back to New Zealand’s first attempt at America’s Cup glory in 1987 in Fremantle.
Grant Dalton, Team New Zealand’s CEO, says: “Steinlager is a truly iconic Kiwi brand that has always stayed strong and believed in Emirates Team New Zealand and our quest for the America’s Cup. They’ve been on the boat for every win we’ve had, and we had Steinlager in our hand when we grasped the Cup in Bermuda in 2017 – a ritual we plan to keep alive in March 2021. Although it is always about the end result when we’re on the water, Steinlager helps to remind us to enjoy the journey.”
Rory Glass, Lion NZ Managing Director, says: “We are really excited and honoured to be back on the boat again. Steinlager has a long and proud history with yachting and with Emirates Team New Zealand, dating back to their first tilt at the Cup in 1986/87. 2021 will be our 35th year of support as the team endeavour to keep their hands on the oldest trophy in international sport.
We will be revealing more plans later in the year on how we will bring our sponsorship to life off the water as well – with epic environments for fans to support Emirates Team New Zealand across the country.”
In 2021, it will be over two decades since Emirates Team New Zealand successfully defended the America’s Cup on home waters. History now has the chance to repeat itself at one of New Zealand’s most iconic sporting events and Steinlager will be there on the boat again, and as the cold one that crew and fans can celebrate with when the hard work is done.
For the first time in the history of Emirates Team New Zealand, the team has begun construction of its own America’s Cup boat in their own purpose-built boatyard on Auckland’s North Shore.
Led by Emirates Team New Zealand Build Operations Manager Sean Regan, the facility which has been a long-term vision of the team, has been started from the ground up turning a clean factory floor into one of the most up to date, purpose-built composite boat building facilities in the country.
“As with everything in the America’s Cup, time is of the essence and in setting up the build facility we basically gave ourselves two months from the day we took over the lease of the premises to be ready to start building our first boat.” explained Regan.
The layout of the vast 1800 sqm building has been extensively considered with the view to putting together the most effective and comfortable workspace possible. The team has sought feedback from some of the industry’s best boatbuilders as well as many of our valued team suppliers.
“We really approached this set up with an open mind along with our typical number 8 wire thinking. We looked at the clean floor plan and thought about everything in terms of the production of the most technically advanced composite race yacht. From the layout of the three ovens, the heating, extraction, air conditioning, lighting, storage, lifting, access etc.”
Just as important as bringing all of the necessary equipment together was the task of bringing the new 40 strong team onboard. All 40 people are now working as a team with enthusiasm and a mix of experience that will need to perform exceptionally as a group when the pressure is on.
“We have been able to assemble a mixed group of specialist boat building veterans – a number of whom were the key core people from Cookson’s Boats, existing Emirates Team New Zealand shore crew and a bunch of hungry young apprentices. These guys are really working well together and growing the wider experience in the industry by the day which is very satisfying for everyone.
The beauty of winning the America’s Cup and bringing it back to New Zealand is it gives us the ability to try to restimulate what has been a stagnant or declining industry over the past few years.”
The real performance benefits of bringing the boat building ‘in-house’ for Emirates Team New Zealand is the ability to shift resources and schedules to suit the team’s operations which enables a more efficient link between the Emirates Team New Zealand designers at the team base in the Viaduct and the production team on the North Shore.
“As we saw in the last America’s Cup, we need to be really dynamic in our overall design approach and our production priorities day to day so now we are more in charge of our own build destiny than we ever have been before.
Typically, in with the objective of extracting every last detail of performance gain, the designers leave handing their final designs over to the production until the very last opportunity. Not only that, they continue to refine designs beyond specific deadlines so now we can make changes as the priorities shift which allows us to make design decisions a lot later but more advanced than we ever have been able to.”
Integral to the set-up of the base as always with Emirates Team New Zealand has been a number of key suppliers of the team.
“We really couldn’t have achieved what we have in setting this base up without our Official Suppliers. A huge amount of the cost in setting up has been met by suppliers with products, services and expertise – which never ceases to amaze us how valuable the support of everyday kiwi companies and their generosity is to us working towards defending the America’s Cup in 2021.”
“Call me biased but I think we have put together one of the best composite boat building facilities in New Zealand, and hope that it will serve the team well for AC36, but also the wider marine industry on projects outside of the America’s Cup.” concluded Regan.
The America’s Cup world now eagerly awaits the first boat to emerge from the boat build facility towards the middle of 2019.
Dutch entry makes it six America’s Cup Challengers
Auckland, New Zealand – 21st December 2018
Emirates Team New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron are pleased to announce the acceptance of a sixth Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup, from The Netherlands.
The joint Royal Netherlands Yacht Club Muiden and Royal Maas Yacht Club challenge comes from one of the world’s most famous maritime nations. They now join Luna Rossa (ITA), American Magic (USA), INEOS Team UK (UK), Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) and Stars & Stripes Team USA (USA).
The latest challenge now brings the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada line up to seven teams, the most since the 32nd America’s Cup in 2007 in Valencia.
Emirates Team New Zealand said, “This is really positive news for the Auckland event in 2021.
“The reality is, the more teams that race in the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series, the greater the spectacle on the water and the better the economic return off the water for Auckland and New Zealand. This has always been the overarching objective of Emirates Team New Zealand since we won the America’s Cup in 2017.
“We will be reaching out to Prada and the Challenger of Record to discuss further planning for the events in light of this exciting news. We are hoping and expect them to embrace this latest entry in line with the underlying philosophy of the America’s Cup being a friendly competition between foreign countries.”
Today Emirates Team New Zealand have advised the Auckland Council and Government that if there ultimately are not six challengers, there is an option not to build the Hobson Wharf extension as five teams can be accommodated on Wynyard Point saving taxpayer money.
Stars & Stripes Team USA confirm acceptance as 5th Challenger of the 36th America’s Cup
13th December 2018
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is pleased to confirm that the identity of the 5th accepted challenger for the 36th America’s Cup is the Long Beach Yacht Club, another historic and internationally respected yacht club.
It will be represented by ‘Stars & Stripes Team USA’ which brings the number of Challengers that will race in Auckland in 2021 to five, with Defender Emirates Team New Zealand the 6th team. Stars & Stripes Team USA is the second US challenge after American Magic in addition to the Challenger of Record Luna Rossa (ITA), INEOS Team UK (GBR) and Malta Altus Challenge (MLT).
Established in 1929, the Long Beach Yacht Club is renowned for the Congressional Cup, the premier match racing event in the world outside the America’s Cup – that since 1965 has attracted the world’s top ranked skippers aiming to be awarded with the coveted Crimson Blazer.
The name Stars & Stripes Team USA has been blessed by ‘Mr America’s Cup’ Dennis Conner himself.
“Our name is a nod to Dennis Connor’s ‘Stars & Stripes’ campaigns that defined all-American, America’s Cup racing for decades. We are the next generation,” said Co-Founder Mike Buckley.
Working alongside Buckley is former Match Racing World Champion Taylor Canfield who has been ranked the #1 World Sailing match racer for three of the past five years and is a four time winner of the Congressional Cup.
“We have begun assembling our sailing roster and will announce more details soon. It’s been my professional goal to compete in the America’s Cup my whole life and I’m confident we will be very competitive come 2021 in Auckland.” Said Canfield.
While more details will be released in early-January 2019 during a public launch, the team has already announced several key people.
Justin Shaffer, with a career in Major League Baseball and Facebook and a TP52 background, is the team CEO and will be sided by Tod Reynolds, who ran the 2016 America’s Cup World Series Chicago, in the role of COO. General Counsel, Melinda Erkelens is an industry veteran who has participated in five America’s Cup campaigns.
At the head of the design team is JB Braun who was part of Oracle Team USA in 2013 and 2017.
Stars & Stripes Team USA has already started building their AC75 race yacht in Michigan, a build process that was accelerated by a design and technology package purchased from Emirates Team New Zealand.
“Stars & Stripes and their Yacht Club are the reflection of the new America’s Cup; they value the history of the trophy and the event while wholeheartedly accepting the technological challenge that the new AC75 class represents.” Said Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand “We are really proud to have two American teams competing in this America’s Cup. United States is a country with outstanding America’s Cup sailing tradition and expertise.”
The Long Beach Yacht Club (Stars & Stripes) approval comes one week after the Royal Malta Yacht Club (Malta Altus Challenge) entry.