Emirates Team New Zealand has taken delivery of the catamaran chase boat big and powerful enough to manage the AC72’s on-the-water operations.
When the yacht can reach speeds of 40 knots, the chase boat has to be nimble, stable and easy on the people who have to work on it.
Emirates Team NZ’s AC 72 tender at speed in the upper harbour - Emirates Team NZ
The America’s Cup protocol allows teams only 30 sailing days between now and the end of January next year so every day on the water will be precious.
Testing will run from dawn to dusk. The chase boat will carry enough fuel to stay on station all day and has the power and stability to stay close to the cat in fresh winds and choppy seas.
Twelve or more hours on the water slamming into a Hauraki Gulf chop can be very hard on bodies. With suspension seats to smooth the ride, it will be kinder on its passengers – the sailing coaches, boat builders, sailmakers, riggers and on-board systems experts.
The 14m catamaran, powered by four 300 horsepower Yamaha outboard motors, has a range of 510 nautical miles at 30 knots. It has a top speed of more than 50 knots.
The AC72 will be centre stage at the Viaduct Harbour on Saturday in a spectacular free show for the public. The catamaran will be named on Saturday July 21.
Climax of the show will occur at the traditional champagne moment. Jets of flame will light the water in front of the Viaduct Events Centre and fireworks will light up the sky.
The AC72 will be at the heart of the action as it takes place on the water bounded by the Halsey Street wharf, Viaduct Events Centre and the walkway to the lifting bridge.