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Two boat testing returns >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Two boat testing returns >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Auckland, NZL (February 2, 2023) – America’s Cup Defender Emirates Team New Zealand became the first campaign for the 2024 Match to commence a two-boat testing program with crews today onboard AC40s on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.

Team members for the 3.5 hour session was the now familiar crew of Peter Burling and Nathan Outteridge helming with Blair Tuke and Andy Maloney trimming on boat #1. Liv MacKay swapped port side driving duties with Leonard Takahashi while Josh Junior was on the starboard helm on the second AC40 with Sam Meech and Marcus Hansen in the trimming seats.

It didn’t take long for the competitiveness of the sailors to show, engaging in some match-race action. “We were quickly into it,” noted Junior. “Our team was just getting used to the boat and next minute Pete, Nath, Andy and Blair jumped into windward of us and we were straight into a line up which was really exciting and a huge credit to the whole team to be able to get to this point having two boats on the water.”

Coach Ray Davies noted the benefits of the two boats squaring off. “The boats were engaging so well from the outset and as a result you could definitely see some instant gains in communication between the guys and girls onboard, obviously keeping check on the other boat’s performance and moves which is really important as far as match racing goes.

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“It was a big day for Liv and Leo to step into that racing lineup position and as we expected from both of them they did a fantastic job. Obviously, Sam and Marcus haven’t had a huge amount of time in their roles either and they were great, as was JJ (Josh Junior) keeping it all together on that boat really really well.”

There was no wiping the smile from the faces of prospective Women’s and Youth team sailors Liv Mackay and Leonard Takahashi.

“I just can’t get enough, it is awesome sailing,” explained Liv Mackay who had over an hour and a half on the helm. “I can’t wait for more Women and Youth teams to get on the AC40. They are so fun, a bit like a go-cart. So it is going to be some awesome racing and a big step up in skill set which is going to be so so good for all of us.”

Takahashi was equally excited by the new class of boat. “The boats are epic. Like nothing I have ever sailed. They foil fast, all the aero and foils are super cool to learn about and get the hang of, so I am looking forward to keep learning and asking questions of all the guys.

“We were meant to keep it simple and chill for a bit, but the other guys lined us up. I think we got a lot out of it and for me straight into the deep end, but really grateful for the opportunity. Everyone has been really good to me and the learning has been super steep but just getting the hang of it and looking forward to the next few weeks to come.”

Today’s session, which included a number of match race scenarios and line ups created an instant increase in intensity for the on-water program for not only the sailors but the entire on-water operations.

The sight of two-boat testing was once a common occurrence, especially in the days of the IACC class used between 1992-2007. But not since 2012 has Emirates Team New Zealand had two boats together when a couple of SL33’s were used to verify the significance of foiling vs nonfoiling in the America’s Cup.

Following the publication of the AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule on November 17, 2021, the AC75 Class Rule and AC Technical Regulations were finalized on March 17, 2022. The entry period opened December 1, 2021 and runs until July 31, 2022, but late entries for the 37th America’s Cup may be accepted until May 31, 2023. The Defender was to announce the Match Venue on September 17, 2021 but postponed the venue reveal, confirming it would be Barcelona on March 30, 2022. The 37th America’s Cup will be held in September/October 2024.

Teams revealed to challenge defender Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
INEOS Britannia (GBR)
Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI)
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA)
NYYC American Magic (USA)
K-Challenge Racing (FRA)

Noticeboard: https://ac37noticeboard.acofficials.org/
Additional details: www.americascup.com/en/home