Yachting World editor, Helen Fretter sits down with America's Cup designer, Thomas Tison to discuss the Emirates Team New Zealand America's Cup boat

The 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona this autumn is getting ever closer, something marked by all teams launching the boat upon which they will compete for the ultimate trophy in the sport of sailing. The unveiling of the second generation AC75s is generating significant excitement and possibly the most anticipated boat was Emirates Team New Zealand‘s, which showcases a host of innovative features that could give them a competitive edge.

One of the key areas America’s Cup designer, Thomas Tison, picks out in the Kiwi design are the substantial efforts to reduce weight by tapering the cockpit pods down to the main deck level. This not only improves the boat’s aerodynamic profile but also reduces the overall weight, contributing to better performance.

The team’s approach is evident in the meticulous attention to detail, such as the removal of vertical surfaces and the streamlining of the deck comings. These changes, while seemingly minor, collectively contribute to significant performance gains.

Team New Zealand’s design and engineering team have also focused on the broader aspects of the boat’s aerodynamics. The bustle, which runs the entire length of the hull, is designed to prevent wind from passing underneath the boat, thereby reducing drag. This feature, combined with the refined hull shape, ensures that the boat maintains optimal aerodynamic performance even in challenging conditions.

One of the standout aspects of Team New Zealand’s new boat is in the operation of its twin-skin mainsail. Specifically, the way in which the team has integrated of the mainsail hydraulic systems within the sole of the boat. Unlike other teams that house these systems on the deck, Team New Zealand has managed to embed them below, reducing the aerodynamic drag and the weight above the waterline. This placement contributes to a smoother, more efficient sailing.

Thomas Tison notes that this innovative approach reduces the weight and the load on the structure, further enhancing the boat’s efficiency and speed.

Team New Zealand’s emphasis on weight reduction, aerodynamic refinement, and advanced sail control systems positions – plus their incredible history in the event – makes the America’s Cup Defender strong contenders in the upcoming America’s Cup. Their innovative spirit and relentless pursuit of excellence continue to push the boundaries of yacht design, setting new standards for performance and efficiency in the sport.

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