Two of New Zealand's great America's Cup boats are being resuscitated by an America True sailor.
Two of New Zealand’s great America’s Cup boats are being resuscitated by an America True sailor. True trimmer, American John Sweeney has bought sisters NZL20 and NZL14 — New Zealand’s boats in the 1992 cup — from Sir Michael Fay. Sweeney intends to turn the boats into floating billboards. NZL14, leased by the failed Hong Kong syndicate for this cup, is ready to be dressed up for a willing advertiser to ply the Hauraki Gulf for next month’s cup match.
But NZL20, the red boat which lost the challenger final to Paul Cayard’s Italian camp, is not in good shape. After sitting in a South Auckland trucking yard, it is no longer watertight. America True coach David Barnes, who steered the boat in ’92, will check to see if she can ever sail again. “It’s very sad. I tried to give it to the Maritime Museum, but they don’t have the space,” Sweeney said. If it can be rebuilt, NZL20 will join its sister on the waters of San Francisco Bay after the cup.