Please select your home edition
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - Top 728 x 90px - 002 gif

America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ takes AC75 build in-house

by Suzanne McFadden 8 Dec 2019 21:07 PST 9 December 2019
Te Aihe, Emirates Team New Zealand's first AC75 being launched outside the team's base in the America's Cup Village, Auckland © Richard Gladwell /

America's Cup defenders Emirates Team New Zealand have done things differently by building their own boats for the first time, and so far, it's paying off.

Sometime this week - if Huey, the sailors’ god of the wind and waves, obliges - 40 boat builders will venture out on to the Hauraki Gulf to watch their exceptional creation fly.

For many of them, this will be the first time they have seen Te Aihe, the dolphin – Emirates Team New Zealand’s first AC75 boat – in full flight.

Since October last year, the craftsmen have been head-down, tail-up in the bespoke boatyard that Team NZ set up on Auckland’s North Shore (its exact whereabouts is a closely guarded secret, protecting it from prying eyes and drones).

Geoff Senior, the team’s construction manager, will be like a proud dad.

“You never lose that excitement when you first see the boat in the water,” he says.

“That’s why it’s important to show everyone who built the boat what it looks like sailing. There’s a big difference between the boat we completed here [in the yard] and when it’s actually sailing.

“It will be an enormous boost for the guys. I’m really proud of them and what they’ve achieved.”

But don’t think for a moment that these boat builders can now sit back and watch the fruit of their labours at play. There’s a second boat to build before the 2021 America’s Cup, and their workload is swelling.

The Team NZ building crew with their masterpiece, Te Aihe, before it left the yard on the North Shore. Photo: Hamish Hooper, ETNZ The defenders of the Auld Mug have done things differently this time around. It’s the first time Team NZ have built their own boat – and hired their own boat builders to do the job.

It means the team have more control over the build. And as chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge explains, it gives them the manpower to create something quickly, without having to wait for a commercial yard to fit the work in. “We can change the plan overnight, and just do it,” he says.

But the quality of the build remains the same. Many of the team have come from the Cookson Boats yard, which built all eight of Team NZ’s boats between 2000 and 2013.

The team snapped up many of the boat builders after the Cookson family closed the doors on their once-thriving business.

For the rest of this story click here.

Related Articles

Emirates Team NZ base relocation comes at a price
Emirates Team NZ paying $550,000 pa rent for former INEOS Team UK base One of Auckland's premier waterfront venues is set to reopen for business and events in early 2023, with confirmation today that Emirates Team New Zealand is to relocate its base within Wynyard Quarter. Posted today at 6:27 am
America's Cup: Youth and Womens events formats
Both the Women's and Youth America's Cups will be sailed off the Barcelona waterfront Both the Women's and Youth America's Cups will be sailed on the America's Cup racecourse off the Barcelona waterfront during the final stages of the Challenger Selection Series and the opening of America's Cup Match itself. Posted on 5 Jul
America's Cup: 5th anniversary of the Bermuda win
Fifth anniversary of Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's America's Cup win Today, June 27 in New Zealand, or June 26 in Bermuda, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron created sailing history to become the first club to regain the America's Cup, after Emirates Team New Zealand sailed to victory in Race 9. Posted on 26 Jun
Letter from the Antipodes: Smiles and frowns
ETNZ's sailors getting a paddy whacking in the SailGP is the best thing to happen for their Cup Chicago came up very well as a venue offering a spectacular city backdrop; thousands of exuberant fans gathered at the finish on Day 1; good and varied sailing conditions; some opportunity for recovery from a poor start or Mark 1 rounding. Posted on 23 Jun
America's Cup: 'Light on Water' - free event
Book now for Geoff Dale's 'Light on the Water' exhibition and conversation with Peter Montgomery Experience Geoff Dale's remarkable Light on the Water photography exhibition from the 2021 America's Cup before settling as he chats with legendary sports broadcaster, Peter Montgomery. Posted on 21 Jun
America's Cup: Join the Spy Game
The America's Cup spy game has been reinvented. Here's your opportunity to be part of it. Teams using spies armed with long lenses to get an insight into what design direction competitors are heading in, are a common sight. For the 37th America's Cup, the spy game has been reinvented. Here's your opportunity to be part of it. Posted on 14 Jun
America's Cup: Seeking Swiss precision
Magnus Wheatley reports from last week's Alinghi crew and design team announcement Last week, Alinghi Red Bull Racing Team opened the doors of its Switzerland headquarters to the world to present both its sailing and design teams after a rigorous selection process. Magnus Wheatley reports from Ecublens. Posted on 13 Jun
America's Cup family stunned at sudden death
Francesco Longanesi Cattani the External Relations Director for Prada and Luna Rossa dies suddenly. Francesco Longanesi Cattani the long serving CEO Representative of COR 36 and Title Sponsor Liaison in the 36th America's Cup, died suddenly on Friday in the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, after suffering a stroke. Posted on 13 Jun
Leigh McMillan signs on for a third America's Cup
It was a very quick decision for Leigh McMillan to re-sign with INEOS Britannia, Having grown up on the Isle of Wight, Leigh McMillan knows a few things about the America's Cup and it was a very quick decision to re-sign with INEOS Britannia, for his third consecutive America's Cup with the British Challenger. Posted on 10 Jun
America's Cup: Swiss name sailing and design teams
Fourteen sailors have been selected to join the Alinghi Red Bull Racing crew Fourteen sailors have been selected to join the Alinghi Red Bull Racing crew and represent the Société Nautique de Genève during the 37th America's Cup. Posted on 8 Jun
Armstrong-A-Wing-728x90 gif BOTTOMJ Composites 2022 - J45 FOOTERUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTER