Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

SailGP: NZSailGP's F50 is launched on nightfall in Bermuda - expected to sail Wednesday

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 20 Apr 19:26 PDT 21 April 2021
NZSailGP's F50 sits in the slings, in fast fading light, off the SailGP operational racing facility on Cross Island, Bermuda © NZSailGP

NZSailGP, the last of the eight competitors in the 2021 SailGP regatta, launched their F50 today in Bermuda just before nightfall.

The milestone event marks the end of a worrying time, when it seemed that with the initial COVID19 restrictions, the F50 would not be ready in time for the first round of the 2021 Series.

Several of the other F50s that will compete in the Bermuda event which gets underway on Saturday had a practice session on the Great Sound in fresh winds of around 20kts.

Earlier in the week the team sailed with their wing-sail using the platform from SailGP UK.

The flagship of the Live Ocean conservation and restoration campaign, NZSailGP's F50 was rigged after the other F50's had been craned ashore and then the kiwi AC50 had her rig lifted into position before being lowered into the water for an hour of testing and system setup and check. NZSailGP are expected to have their first sail tomorrow, Wednesday local time.

As darkness fell, the F50 was craned from the water of the historic Royal Dockyard, and unrigged under floodlights.

The dark hulled new F50 will be sailed by the NZSailGP team comprising several of the sailing team from Emirates Team NZ, who successfully defended the America's Cup last month. Due to disrupted shipping schedules, and particularly on the last leg to Bermuda, the decision was taken to send the unfinished boat from Core Builders in NZ to Bermuda for finishing and commissioning.

"It's an amazing milestone for the team to have the F50 in the water, it has taken a lot of hard work by many people to get to this point, and it now start to feel very real," said crew member Blair Tuke. Nodding to the blue Fern and the Live Ocean logo depicted in aqua blue and white on the mainsail, "we're going to take the message of ocean protection and restoration with us as we race this boat around the world", he added.

Despite the South Atlantic archipelago battling a COVID-19 outbreak, with 20 deaths and six people in critical care, plus a general curfew from 8.00pm to 6.00am. Bermuda has a high vaccination rate of over 60% on either their first or second shot. However SailGP has negotiated a set of protocols with the Bermudian health authorities and there seems to be no reason why the opening SailGP World Series should not take place as planned on Saturday and Sunday, with four America's Cup skippers on the startline of the fleet racing event, that will finish with a match race between the top two teams.

That process was delayed when Bermuda went into a COVID-19 lockdown, but is now largely complete - and the Peter Burling skippered crew should have three days of training on the Great Sound ahead of the start of the first event in Round 2 of SailGP which will be sailed on Saturday and Sunday.

Website www.sailgp.com

Related Articles

Relive the best bits from Spain Sail Grand Prix!
A fantastic weekend in Cadiz for Australia It was a fantastic weekend in Cadiz for Australia, who won the Spain Sail Grand Prix and returned to the top of the SailGP Season Championship with only two events remaining! Posted on 16 Oct
Australia wins third Sail Grand Prix in Cadiz
Australia scores its third win of the season at SailGP Cadiz A dramatic afternoon in Cádiz ended with Australia winning the Spain Sail Grand Prix to return to the top of the SailGP Season. Posted on 11 Oct
SailGP: Kiwis win first race in breezy Cadiz
New Zealand SailGP Team won the first race in a fast and furious final day in Cádiz The New Zealand SailGP Team won the first race in a fast and furious final day in Cádiz, but it wasn't enough to secure a position in the winner-takes-all final as the team finished fifth at the Spain Sail Grand Prix. Posted on 11 Oct
Spain Sail Grand Prix overall
Double devastation on final day The home team went from hero to zero when a capsize ahead of the final day of racing in Cádiz, Andalusia, took the Spanish team out of contention for the Spain Sail Grand Prix. Posted on 10 Oct
SailGP: Light airs and start errors let down Kiwis
The New Zealand SailGP Team has it all to do on Day 2 of the Spain Sail Grand Prix The New Zealand SailGP Team has it all to do on Day 2 of the Spain Sail Grand Prix after a frustrating opening race day in Cádiz. A peculiar rule resulted in some boat being scored with their finishing place and others with their last mark rounding place. Posted on 9 Oct
Spain Sail Grand Prix day 1
Aussies lead the charge as the largest crowds to date watch on With the largest crowds to attend a SailGP event to-date, the first ever Spain Sail Grand Prix got off to a flying start. In scenes reminiscent of a football match, fans roared from the shorelines and from the 1,400 boats that turned out. Posted on 9 Oct
Spanish team favorites to win Sail Grand Prix
Home team sets its sights on finishing on top of the podium With the stage set for the first ever Spain Sail Grand Prix, the port city of Cádiz is buzzing with excitement as the home team sets its sights on finishing on top of the podium. Posted on 9 Oct
SailGP: King of Spain wins with Kiwi crew
King of Spain sailed on Amokura aboard with Kiwis for trophy win ahead of SailGP Cadiz The New Zealand SailGP Team has made a promising start to the Spain Sail Grand Prix, winning the Juan Sebastián de Elcano Trophy on the eve of official racing in Cádiz. Posted on 8 Oct
Take the 'plastic promise' for race weekend
Japan SailGP Team urges Cádiz residents to tackle plastic pollution The Japan SailGP Team is calling on Cádiz residents to take the 'plastic promise' to tackle plastic pollution during this weekend's SailGP race, as it competes for further sailing glory. Posted on 8 Oct
CDP joins SailGP's Race for the Future
Championing a world powered by nature through environmental disclosure The partnership aims to inspire and support cities and business decision-makers across the globe to drive impact within the sports industry, the associated industries that serve it and beyond. Posted on 8 Oct
North Sails 2021 FOOTERVaikobi 2021 FlexForce - FOOTERSea Sure 2021 - FLO - FOOTER