22nd April, 2017 marks another milestone in the countdown to the start of the greatest race on water with the news that Emirates Team New Zealand have today launched and sailed their ACC boat for the first time since arriving in Bermuda. Now, all six America’s Cup Class (ACC) boats that will be racing in the 35th America’s Cup have sailed on Bermuda’s waters so the competitive field is now complete ahead of the start of the action on 26th May.
The Kiwi boat has the unique distinction of using a pedal system, instead of arm grinders, to power its hydraulic systems, and for the first time people in Bermuda have seen this innovation for themselves on the Great Sound.
Having arrived in Bermuda in mid-April, the team set to work on re-commissioning their ACC boat that was flown from New Zealand into Bermuda. Before launching the boat today, in a recent interview the Australian Skipper of the Kiwi team Glenn Ashby told Bermuda’s Royal Gazette newspaper, “We’re absolutely excited to be in Bermuda now.
“We’ve had a good, productive summer back in Auckland. The boys who came over to set up the base have done a stellar job. We’ve been able to come up here, step off the plane and go to work in a fully operational base”.
“Re-commissioning the boat has been a lot of work. Getting all the electronics and hydraulics back together, and getting all the wiring and cabling done. We’ve had to change a few cable runs. Some little upgrades were added, but it’s mostly recommissioning”
Now that hard work has paid off with their ACC boat tasting Bermudian waters for the first time, and as the countdown to the heat of battle continues the team will be focused on fine-tuning their performance levels ahead of their opening race in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on 26th May against Franck Cammas and Groupama Team France.