America’s Cup: Benefit Team NZ as the 2-ship attempt begins

Team New Zealand prepared to take their America’s Cup defense to the next level on Thursday with the defending champions having two boats in the water for the first time.

The Kiwis jumped at the chance to break the nasty weather in Auckland to get two boats in action at half scale.

It is a major advantage over rival challengers as they get an early opportunity to gain fair racing training in monohulls, and also have the opportunity to experiment and make developmental changes with the equipment.

The New Zealand team raised two halves of the America's Cup ladder near Waitemata Harbour.

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The New Zealand team raised two halves of the America’s Cup ladder near Waitemata Harbour.

One AC40 is to be kept in one design, while the other can be pulled out, allowing vital differentials to be immediately assessed. Proceeds from these will be applied to the design and accessories of the full-size AC75 sailing in Barcelona 2024.

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With the relaxed rules, this is the first time any America’s Cup team has been able to test a biream boat since the 2007 North America’s Cup, although Team New Zealand briefly had two boats at the same time when two SL33s were used to test the meaning of foiling. versus non-foiling in the America’s Cup in the lead up to San Francisco 2013.

The New Zealand team tasked its talented crew with sailing in the ideal 12-15 knots of east-easterly winds during the three-and-a-half-hour session.

“The boats engage so well from the start and as a result we can see certain moments of gain in the communication between the guys and girls of the cargo ships, obviously slowing down in the other operation of the boat and moves which is really important as far as fair racing goes. Coach Ray Davies said the first outing.

Team New Zealand's home competition and testing and development is now on to the second stage with two boats in action.

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Team New Zealand’s home competition and testing and development is now on to the second stage with two boats in action.

Peter Burling and Nathan Outteridge were driving with Blair Tuke and Andy Maloney qr in the AC40.

Liv MacKay wrapped up port side driving duties with Leonardo Takahashi, while Josh Junior was on the right helm of the second AC40 with Sam Meech and Marcus Hansen in the trim seats.

“We were on it quickly, our team just went up to the boat and then a minute later Pete, Nath, Andy and Blair jumped into our wind and we were in the direction of what we were really excited about. It’s a big compliment to the whole team to be able to get two boats on the water at this point,” Junior said.

It was a big day for hopeful women and youth sailors Liv Mackay and Leonard Takahashi, who had recent sessions in the one-boat program, but were horrified at the increased roles.

“I just can’t get enough, the sailing is awesome,” Mackay said after spending about half the session at the helm.

Takahashi’s new recruit, who has achieved a prominent career circuit, is equally delighted in these new surroundings of craft craft.

Leonard Takahashi was given a great opportunity by Team New Zealand.

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Leonard Takahashi was given a great opportunity by Team New Zealand.

“The scenes are epic, like nothing I’ve ever navigated,” he said.

“Floating fast, all aero and super cool to learn and hang out, so I’m looking forward to learning and asking questions from all the guys.

“We wanted to keep it simple and cool a little bit, but the other guys lined us up. We took a lot of it, and I went straight to the high end, but it was a really nice opportunity.

“Everyone has been really good to me and the learning has been super tough, but it just depends on him and he’s looking forward to the next few weeks.”

Davies praised the new faces in the team.

Liv Mackay is at home on the docks.

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Liv Mackay is at home on the docks.

“It was a great day for Liv and Leo to step into the running line for that position and as we expected from both of them they did a fantastic job,” Davies said.

“Obviously, Sam and Mark didn’t have a lot of time in their roles, and they were great, as was JJ (Josh Junior) on that boat holding everything together really, really well.”

The AC40s will be used for training and also as regatta boats, with one design, for youth and women’s cups by other syndicates.

Rival Coin UK and returning Swiss team Alinghi have taken the first deliveries of their AC40s produced by Team New Zealand.

Team New Zealand's two ships will now be within sight of each other.

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Team New Zealand’s two ships will now be within sight of each other.

“Obviously, Sam and Mark didn’t have a lot of time in their roles, and they were great, as was JJ (Josh Junior) on that boat keeping everything together really, really well.”

The AC40s will be used for training and also as regatta boats, in one design, for the youth and women’s America’s Cups by other syndicates.

Rival Coin UK and returning Swiss team Alinghi have taken the first deliveries of their AC40s produced by Team New Zealand.

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