Reigning America's Cup champion «» Emirates Team New Zealand launched their 20m AC75. The New Zealand team was the first team in the 36th America's Cup to show their boat in all its glory and not covered by a tent during transport, as American Magic and Luna Rossa of Italy did.
According to teamCEO Grant Dalton, this is a decisive stage that will determine how much of a chance the New Zealanders have of holding on to the cup.
«When you stand next to it, it looks more or less normal. But once she starts going up on the foils, she looks no longer like a boat, but a flying machine. Basically, the America's Cup is already over, we just don't know who won yet. Decisions made early in the preparations will determine how things develop over the next two or three years»," Dalton said.
However, the team will not be racing this boat at the2021 Auckland event. Like all competitors, the current AS75 will only be used by the New Zealanders for training and the America's Cup World Series, which starts in late April 2020 off the coast of Sardinia. For the Cup itself, they will build a second AC75, which the rules allow to be launched after February 1, 2020.
As all teams currently have another six months to refine their model, now that work on the boats is no longer going on behind closed doors, competitors are certainly watching each other.
«Spies are having a hot time»," laughed Emirates Team New Zealand, publishing shots of their boat from afar, taken on the eve of the presentation.