New shape, new name for Team NZ’s second America’s Cup 2020 yacht
Team New Zealand’s new America’s Cup yacht has a sleek new concave shape and a new name – Te Rehutai, the Māori word for sea spray.
The new boat surprised and delighted a large crowd who lined vantage points around the launch at the Team NZ base in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour tonight.
Boating enthusiasts Don Crawford and Tony Linford, who came into town from Beachlands to see the launch, said the new boat looked “gorgeous”.
“It’s a Formula I racing car for the water,” Crawford said.
“It’s cutting edge, something New Zealand should be proud of,” said Linford.
Crawford said the boat was “much wider than I thought it would have been”.
Web designer Chester Elliott said the new boat looked “really cool”.
“It looks pretty aerodynamic,” he said.
“It’s definitely a big change from the first one. I was expecting more of a refinement of the first boat, but it will be good to see it with a mast up and the rigging up.”
Structural engineer Dmitry Chernushkin said the new shape was “impressive”.
“I think it will be fast,” he said. ” The design looked beautiful, I think the most beautiful shape. I hope that they will win the competition.”
The boat’s hull has a distinct concave shape which is quite different from the fuller shape of the first Team NZ boat for the 2020 contest, Te Aihe.
Team NZ chief executive Grant Dalton told the crowd that the design process started with a blank sheet of paper.
“There was no concept,” he said. “We knew it had to be a monohull but we couldn’t leave the [catamaran] generation behind.
“You couldn’t find a person within Team NZ who believes that we haven’t exceeded what we thought we would.”
Team NZ board chairman Sir Stephen Tindall assured the crowd of the board’s integrity despite reports of questionable finances.
“As you would have seen in the media, we’ve had a tough year on a number of fronts,” he said.
“Let me assure you of our integrity in these matters, and assure you that those distractions have not impacted the sailors, the designers or our broader team.”
Tindall said New Zealand would not get the full economic benefit that had been expected from the Cup because of Covid-19, but the event would now be “for the benefit of Kiwis”.
“We will showcase our city and our country on the available television, video and digital devices worldwide, and broadcasting will be free to air in most countries,” he said.
“We are determined to make the AC36 the most spectacular America’s Cup in 150 years.”
He said designing the America’s Cup boat was “the most scientifically and technologically advanced” of his many investments, along with Rocket Lab.
He acknowledged the presence of Team NZ sponsor former Prime Minister Helen Clark, Auckland mayor Phil Goff and former Sports Minister Trevor Mallard.
New Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash arrived late after meeting tourist groups in Rotorua.
Lady Margaret Tindall christened the yacht as it was lowered into the Waitematā Harbour to cheers from the crowd and horns sounding from a nearby boat.
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