A couple of days after the first AC75 launch of this cycle, America's Cup Defender Emirates Team New Zealand, has also shown a glimpse of their AC75 ahead of it's official launch

Last weekend saw the unveiling of the first America’s Cup boat of this cycle as Alinghi Red Bull Racing revealed the boat they will sail in the 37th America’s Cup later this year. Now, just a few days later, America’s Cup Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, has also shown their AC75 launching it and stepping the mast ahead of their official launch and naming next week.

The Kiwis rolled their boat out of the shed on Thursday 11 April 2024 from their home base in Wynyard Point, Auckland. “It is always a pretty significant moment for any team. The first time their race boat emerges from the shed and sees the light of day.” said Emirates Team New Zealand COO Kevin Shoebridge.

“These moments are some of the most revealing of any campaign. So much of any America’s Cup campaign goes on behind closed doors and with the utmost secrecy protecting designs and plans, but there always comes a time when you need to show some of your cards. And although what we have revealed today is not all of our cards, it sure gives everyone an indication of our design path.”

Photo: Emirates Team New Zealand

It might seems surprising to some that this launch comes so quickly after last weekend’s unveiling by Alinghi Red Bull Racing, but as Shoebridge notes: “We have had today in the calendar for a long long time as the date that we would wheel the boat out to step the rig.”

Indeed, all teams have been looking to launch their boats around this time for many months, and the expectation is that we will see the America’s Cup challenger from 2021, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli launch their boat this coming weekend from their base in Italy.

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Emirates Team New Zealand AC75

In the 2021 America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand clearly had the fastest AC75 and it was widely acknowledged that the simulator and computational design advantage that saw the Kiwis win the 2017 Cup had been carried over into that cycle.

As such it’s fair to assume that, though other teams may have closed the gap, this new boat from the Kiwis is going to be pretty quick out of the box.

At this early stage there are limited images of the boat and it’s hard to draw any truly technical conclusion – but watch this space for our full analysis.

What we can see is that a number of similarities with the Alinghi AC75 – and these are trends we expect to see from many boats going forward. The Emirates Team New Zealand America’s Cup boat features a similar bustle / skeg arrangement with a taper down to a very fine full length skeg.

Photo: Emirates Team New Zealand

At the aft end of the boat, the Kiwi option has been to dramatically taper down the hull sidewalls towards the transom. On one level this is different to the Alinghi option of an abrupt sidewall cutoff, but the outcome of reducing weight in the transom is essentially the same and these developments are borne of a rule change that removes runners from the AC75 class.

Elsewhere, there is a clear focus on both aerodynamic efficiency, and hull volume both to deal with splashdowns and to meet the hull volume requirements of the class rule. Both of these are the likely reason for a number of lumps and bumps throughout the hull.

Finally, as they wanted to step the mast we got a look at the Emirates Team New Zealand foils. Again, further analysis on this will come shortly but these look to be relatively simple elliptical foils with upturned wing tips. And currently looks like an iterative development of the foils that the Kiwis used to secure the Cup in 2021.

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