The big news in America’s Cup circles this week comes from our antipodean friends, namely Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), who recently sailed 'Aotearoa', their second-generation AC72 catamaran, for the first time after unveiling her last week. ETNZ will race 'Aotearoa' in the Louis Vuitton Series (July 4-August 30), and-if successful-they will also use her to challenge Oracle Team USA for the 34th America’s Cup (September 7-21).
According to ETNZ’s design group, 'Aotearoa' is more of an evolution than a revolution, as the team’s emphasis was on bettering a lot of small details rather than rolling-out an untested design concept. While there was only about an eight-knot sea breeze blowing, the Kiwis impressively managed to foil their new ride, once again demonstrating the extensive amount of experience that they’ve amassed with wingsail-powered catamarans and hydrofoils in a compressed amount of time.
'The first day was pretty good,' reported team boss, Grant Dalton, on the team’s blog. 'Certainly better than the first day we had with our first boat… We put the boat up on its foils for a while, and no creaks or groans.' Inside, be sure to check out the photo galleries of 'Aotearoa' foiling around on New Zealand’s beautiful Hauraki Gulf.
DSC 4767revd - Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta - John Payne
Meanwhile, in Olympic sailing circles, the inaugural Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta took place last weekend at the Lauderdale Yacht Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. According to reports, more than 60 boats-including Lasers, Laser Radials, Finns, 29ers and I-420s-enjoyed racing on flat waters in 10-12 knots of warm Florida breeze. Get the full scoop, inside.
Opening day of the J/24 Midwinter Championship 2013 - J/24 Class Association
And speaking of the Sunshine State, the J/24 midwinters are taking place this week at the Davis Island Yacht Club, which is located in Tampa, Florida. At the time of this writing, John Mollicone’s 'Team Helly Hansen' is looking strong, as are Will Welles’ 'Cougar' team and Mike Ingham’s '5448'. Stay tuned to the website for more from this event, as it unfurls.
And finally, don’t miss the latest news from the J. J. Giltinan World Championship 2013 (February 15-24), the 2013 Rose Cup (June 19-23), the Youth America’s Cup (September 1-4), as well as the Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship 2013 (September 5-8).
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor - 1:39 AM Wed 13 Feb 2013 GMT
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