I got my first look at an AC72 today, the second Kiwi foiling cat - but i wasn't the only one taking pictures…
I am in New Zealand for a few days visiting manufacturers and shipyards and got excited today when I copped my first look at a real life AC72 wingsail. The unmistakable red and black colours of the Kiwi boat stood out against the Central Business District as its wing towered above the sheds surrounding Viaduct Harbour, making for a truly spectacular sight. (Rumour has it the Mayor took her for a spin recently, and they were doing a cool 35 knots while he was helming)!
The height of the wing makes for a truly awesome sight (check out how small the multitude of ground staff in orange jackets look in comparison). Enough to want to hop out of the car and go and take a picture as a personal touristic moment. “This could be the boat that wins the next cup and brings the Auld Mug back to New Zealand” I thought to myself as I reached for my camera, doubtless as did other happy snappers during the afternoon around the harbour.
However my two neighbouring spectators stood out in the fairly empty opposing dockside to the ETNZ shed – one seemed to be videoing the scene of the cat and wing being craned from the water, whilst discussing the details of the boat with his colleague, snapping away with a telescopic lens the length of my arm.
The slight giveaway was the Artemis branding they were sporting… Doh! Or perhaps they were from another syndicate trying engaging in a curious double bluff game.
It seems that good ol’ espionage is as rife as ever with the Cup.