New Zealand’s AC72 Launched

The first of the new generation of America’s Cup boats will be shown off Down Under tonight in a ceremony scheduled to start at 10:30 pm Pacific.

Emirates Team New Zealand is the first team with a boat in the water. Pics can be viewed at Sail-World.

The christening will be streamed live at the ETNZ Blog, where the latest post is all about the measures taken to assure that a champagne christening won’t bust the super-strong-and-yet-in-some-ways-fragile carbon over honeycomb structure.

The Defender, Team Oracle USA, has not announced a launch date, but late-July, early-August seems likely. Spithill and company will launch in San Francisco and sail/train on the Bay, having abandoned an earlier plan to train in New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere summer.

Other Challengers include Luna Rossa, which has partnered with the Kiwis and is building a boat of like design, Team Korea, which has paid its $200,000 performance bond but may or may not be building a boat, and Energy Team from France, which has until an extended deadline of September 1 to pay the performance bond and get into the game for real.


Kudos to Ronnie Simpson and Ruben Gabriel, finishers in the Singlehanded Transpacific Race, who then went back out and rescued a fellow competitor’s boat, Bela Bartok, that had been abandoned in a medical emergency. Those tracking devices do come in handy.

The Challenger of Record, Artemis, had a plan to launch a custom AC72 along about now, but that was before the three-element wing—which was being trialed aboard a modified ORMA 60 trimaran—up and broke.

Suns New Jerseys