sail-world.com -- America's Cup: Big crowd sees first AC72 christened in Auckland +Video
America's Cup: Big crowd sees first AC72 christened in Auckland +Video
Sat, 21 Jul 2012
Emirates Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup AC72 catamaran was officially named at a ceremony Saturday evening at the Viaduct Harbour, Auckland in front of a crowd of several thousand cheering fans.
On a cool winter’s evening at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour, the crowd numbered well over 6,000 gathered all around the Viaduct.
Emirates Team NZ's skipper Dean Barker's wife Mandy - an international hockey player who was a mainstay of the New Zealand team for many years - triggered the catapult which dropped a bottle of New Zealand wine, spraying the bow of the 72ft wingsailed catamaran.
Simultaneously, flames natural gas lines around the yacht and fireworks lit the sky as 18 months of work by the design and build teams moved from design/build to operational sailing mode.
Mandy Barker named the cat 'New Zealand' – continuing a long line of America's Cup Challengers that have carried the name. Usually a more colloquial name is later chosen for the boat.
For the New Zealand marine industry, built largely on the back of the shop-window provided by America's Cup campaigns, the launch was a significant milestone - as the first country to launch one of the new AC72 catamarans.
Team managing director Grant Dalton said the night could not have happened with the support of the Government and sponsors who backed the team with such enthusiasm.
'New Zealanders should be proud that their team attracts the support of these major international companies,' Dalton said.
'The same can be said for the international designers, engineers and analysts who augmented our design team.
'We are proud of what we have achieved so far, working in a tin shed in Auckland.
'We carry the New Zealand flag sponsors’ brands proudly and pledge that the mission of every member of this team is to bring the America’s Cup back to New Zealand.'
As the countdown to the big moment got underway Prime Minster John Key, Auckland Mayor Len Brown and sponsor representatives were led to the yacht by a Maori warrior.
With the yacht in the background, 1000 people pulled on a hemp rope to 'load' the catapult which smashed the champagne bottle and sprayed the boat.
It was a proud moment for the team, and New Zealand, signalling the beginning of the next stage of preparations for the 2013 America’s Cup.
The Black Cat is expected to start sailing next week, weather permitting.
Onesails.com - Workforce
OneSails is the culmination of over 35 years of experience accumulated by our team in design and technology applied to sail-making. [More info]
Burke Marine, suppliers of international quality marine clothing and equipment, was founded by Martin Burke on the shores of Sydney Harbour in 1971. Visit our website for your nearest stockist. [More info]
Ensign Ship Brokers
Ensign Ship Brokers was established in 1980 and has spent the last 28 years expanding our marine knowledge and developing our reputation! We strive to provide the very best service! [More info]
GME Standard Communications Pty Ltd
Leaders in communications and navigation. Their goal has always been to make products whose innovation, convenience and peace of mind can help improve the lives of their customers. [More info]
Henri Lloyd was established in 1963 in Manchester, England. Mr Henri, as he became universally known, founded the company based upon hard earned principles of honesty, integrity and freedom. [More info]
Navionics is proud of its superb cartographic database comprising more than 25,000 charts and port plans; the largest privately owned database of its kind, the only one using full seamless technology [More info]
Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) is an annual four-day event which attracts buyers and marine industry representatives from across Australia and around the globe. [More info]
Ullman Sails Australia
The Ullman Sails Australia team provides service to customers all over Australia with four main locations in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and the Whitsundays. [More info]
Vicsail Sydney Pty Ltd, launched into the Australian sailing fraternity in 1983 and has been sailing strong ever since. At Vicsail, “We Sail the Boats We Sell”. [More info]