ACTION HAS MOVED OUT ONTO THE WATER
2020 is well underway which means America’s Cup activity has truly begun. Since our previous ‘Cupdate’ a lot of exciting events and test performances have taken place as the team's dive head first into their preparations for the 36th America’s Cup held right here in sailing city Auckland.
Here on home soil Emirates Team New Zealand revealed their new boat ‘Te Kāhu’ appropriately named and christened by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. It won’t remain in New Zealand for long before being shipped and sent off to race in the World Series - an important pre-cursor to the America’s Cup and valued series that decides the challenger for the America’s Cup match to be held in March 2021. The launch of this test boat came a little later than its rivals who had their respective designs out on the water in September 2018 however, Grant Dalton preaches the importance of quality and attention paid to their original AC75 boat design and to Te Kāhu and with our silverware on the line, you can’t argue with that.
If you’re wondering what ‘Te Kāhu’ means, it translates to ‘The Hawk.’ A Hawk is a fearless, elegant bird that majestically glides through the air and possesses vision that is eight times more acute than man. We hope that when Team Emirates hits the water for their America’s Match in 2021, that their performance is nothing less than that of a stealthy hawk swooping in on their prey or, in this case, the prized America’s Cup still under our wings.
In Cagliari, the Brits and Italians are well underway in their race training and are testing the limits of their own designs and seeing exactly how far they can push the boundaries. Recently, ‘Luna Rossa’ learnt exactly what those limits were when their AC75 dis-masted while out in the water off the coast of Marina de Capitana. Fortunately no members were hurt during the event but the news sailed around the world very quickly. A statement released by the Prada team stated, “if you don’t push hard you will never know your limits” which truly underpins the competitive spirit of Luna Rossa who will undoubtedly bring this spirit to both the World Series and America’s Cup.
Last but not least, an update from the U.S.A which has typically for New Zealand, been a competitive and tense history when it comes to the America’s Cup (need I say no more than Oracle and Spithall?). Recently we have learned of the unlikeliness of American Team ‘Stars and Stripes’ to compete in the Americas Cup after failing to pay the US$300,000 world series fee and neither do they have a completed AC75 boat to compete in these regattas come April. On the other side of the coin, the ‘American Magic’ belonging to the New York Yacht Club have added to the current America’s Cup calamity when their boat capsized recently outside their Newport base. The nature of these incidents is highlighting the limits of these new boat designs and their capabilities as the America’s Cup technology takes an innovative turn year after year. This stage is more important than ever for each team to get used to sailing their boats before the beginning of the World Series and to make any adjustments required to strengthen their chances of clinching the ‘Auld Mug.'
An Update from Larry
The America's Cup World Series is invaluable as a pre-cursor to the America's Cup and has been a much loved event for many years. Promotion of the 2021 America's Cup gets the world media in a sailing frenzy and gets the old Kiwi spirit fired up once more with a few donning the 'special red socks' a necessary clothing addition for extra luck when our team head out on the harbor to defend their Cup.
The Brits and the Italians are already preparing for the April regatta in Cagliari, Sardinia. The Kiwi's launched a half-sized prototype to play with the other week while their first boat is being shipped to the venue, and I guess the Americans are on their way too. Stars & Stripes, the 2nd American entry on paper is yet to show a sign of making their challenge a reality. They remain listed as a challenger but is unlikely to make it by all accounts.
Stay tuned for further Cupdates as we keep up with the exciting happenings of the 36th Americas Cup 2021 and reach out to Sharon to find out how you can get on board with Love My New Zealand's exclusive sailing itineraries.