20 Nov 2020

Team New Zealand reveals race boat

6:10 am on 20 November 2020

Team New Zealand has revealed its aerodynamic second generation AC75 to the world at its base in Auckland's Viaduct.

Team New Zealand launch their second AC75 Te Rehutai

Photo: Emirates Team New Zealand

The boat, named Te Rehutai, will be used to defend the 36th America's Cup in just over 100 days' time.

Te Rehutai is the last of the second generation AC75's to be launched with three challengers Luna Rossa, American Magic and Team UK unveiling their boats last month.

There is plenty that is different looking at the overall shape of Te Rehutai.

It is not a traditional looking hull shape which points to the clear aerodynamic emphasis given to the design.

Team New Zealand's head of design Dan Bernasconi said the team had searched for the "perfect balance between hydrodynamic and aerodynamic performance".

"An AC75 that was optimised purely to accelerate and take-off would look very different to one which was optimised for steady-flight - and that's reflected in the huge variation we see between our competitors' yachts in the fleet.

"Te Rehutai is designed to excel in both domains - the water and the air - and we're confident she'll be competitive across the range of wind-speeds we may see in the America's Cup."

Bernasconi said Team New Zealand had to keep pushing the boundaries from everything that was learned in testing with their first boat Te Aihe.

"There was always going to be a convergence of the design of the second generation of AC75's so there is no room for complacency or being conservative."

However, as Bernasconi explained, there is an ongoing requirement to remain open minded and fluid in developments over the latter part of the campaign.

"We have confidence in our designs, our build and our ideas. But in saying that we also need to be humble enough to realise that until we get out racing in one month's time there isn't much to say we are right and even then, we won't have the full performance picture until March 6.

"So we will be pushing our development as hard as possible to make sure we get as much speed and performance out of Te Rehutai as possible."

Team New Zealand chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge praised the team's efforts in getting Te Rehutai on the water.

"We had our launch date for our race boat in the calendar for probably close to a year. So it really is a huge feat that we are here launching Te Rehutai today considering we lost five weeks of build time in the first Covid-19 lockdown.

"That is an extraordinary effort, which we haven't ever experienced before as a team."

Helmsman Peter Burling said: "Getting a new toy is always exciting, but we are pretty much past the point of excitement already as the next two weeks are some of the most crucial for the campaign in terms of continuing our development and getting ready to race for the first time in a matter of weeks."

The sailing team have been off water for close to five weeks now spending long hours in the gym, and even more hours in the shed helping prepare Te Rehutai for launch.

"The guys are eager to get out on the water again. The designers and boat builders have done their jobs, now it is time for the sailing team to do ours," Burling said.

"The pressure is on for sure, but that's where we are most comfortable so we can't wait to race."