Emirates Team NZ - SL33 - soon after their first use in 13 July, 2011
One of the low-profile aspects of Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup development program has been the two SL33's run by the design and sailing teams, as test boats.
The small catamaran fits just millimeters inside the allowed maximum length prescribed in the Protocol governing the 34th America's Cup, to restrict the use of 'surrogate' boats, or near full size test platforms for the AC72 class.
SL-33’s preparing for the first wingsail test session in the Viaduct harbour
Oracle Team USA has a pair of AC45's (specifically exempted under the Protocol) however they cannot have hull shape changes or other changes that would take them outside of the AC45 class rule.
The SL33's offer much more flexibility albeit at at less than half size. Little has been seen on video of the SL33's in action - until now.
Skipper Dean Barker explains how they have been used as a development platform.