Juanpa Cadario: ETNZ comienza sus entrenamientos con dos barcos de cara a la Copa America

ETNZ comienza sus entrenamientos con dos barcos de cara a la Copa America

Foto copyright Richard Gladwell

Foto copyright Richard Gladwell

Foto copyright Richard Gladwell

Foto copyright Richard Gladwell

Fuente info Sailworld

America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ starts sailing their two boat program

There’s a new cat, soon to be two, prowling the Auckland waterfront.

From the design board of a highly respected US multihull design partnership, and built by a top Wellington based composites builder, the pair of new black cats are here to stay for a couple of years at least.

Dean Barker, Skipper Emirates Team NZ with the first of the team’s two SL33’s - Richard Gladwell Click Here to view large photo
Dean Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand skipper, looks over the latest of now the third pedigree, known as the SL33, owned by the America’s Cup team.

'They’re from the board of Morelli & Melvin, who are with us for the America’s Cup program,' he explains. 'They had the design commissioned by a European lake sailor, who has already taken delivery of the first boat.'

'We have two of the boats, built by Hakes Marine in Wellington. The plan for us is to use them for sailing team development between the AC45 and the Extreme 40’s ahead of launching the AC72.

'It is also an opportunity to do some design work ahead of the AC72,' he adds.

'The original SL33 design is quite over-powered and it is perfect for us as it fits within the Surrogate Rule for the America’s Cup, which comes into effect in January next year.'

Currently Emirates Team NZ are running three catamaran campaigns and will be doing their fourth in two years, when the larger AC72 is launched ahead of the 34th America’s Cup to be sailed in September 2013.

The rationale is simple for the world’s leading professional sailing team, and twice winner of the America’s Cup.

In the three years that intervene before the 34th Match, Emirates Team NZ have to build on their existing capability and extend into the multihull world in the areas of design, sailing and understanding how to matchrace multihulls.

Emirates Team NZ’s second SL-33 being assembled at the team’s base in the Viaduct harbour - Richard Gladwell Click Here to view large photo
Maximising every opportunity is the key, in the relatively small time available – hence the competition on two professional multihull circuits, plus the in-house program in a third multihull type.

Three cat program

Already Emirates Team NZ are competing on the well-established Extreme 40 circuit, and are in second place on the leader board after three events. The tour, sailed in Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East has one other current America’s Cup team competing, but has attracted many of the world’s top multihull sailors and has become the refuge of the Olympic multihull crews. Many of these, including Olympic gold medalists and world champions are not involved in the 34th America’s Cup.

Former foes, Alinghi and Luna Rossa are also in on the act.

The Extreme Sailing series as the circuit is known, is a good place for this America’s Cup team to sharpen their claws.

The AC45’s became a familiar sight on the Waitemata in the latter part of the Auckland summer. Designed as a stepping stone for the larger AC72 – both feature a solid wingsail instead of the mast and the sail cloth, or more conventional soft sails of the SL33 and Extreme 40’s.

Back in April, Emirates Team NZ CEO, Grant Dalton, told Sail-World that their budget didn’t stretch to buying two AC45’s for training, and Barker echoes this thinking.

'We can do these two boats, all the sailing in New Zealand, for well under the cost of doing a second AC45. The problem with the second AC 45 is that once they are in the circuit, you just don’t see them again', he explains.

'This is a much more economical option for us, we know that we have a lot of work to do to catch up to the required level. By having two boats here for the sailing team to go sailing every day is invaluable.'

'The good thing with these boats is that we can leave them in the water and just go sailing at a moment’s notice. The boats are fairly robust. They will be a hard to sail and in a lot of ways we expect them to be similar in characteristics to the AC72.'

In other words, what Emirates Team NZ are doing is setting up a similar program to what they used in the days when the America’s Cup was sailed in monohulls. Back then, two Farr MRX yachts (a similar length to the SL33) were often out doing matchrace training on the Waitemata, ahead of a major America’s Cup preliminary regatta.

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