America's Cup China team launch first ever new boat 19/2/07

 The first ever America’s Cup Class boat – CHN 95 – built in China was launched in Valencia on Friday.

Launching a new boat is a milestone in any America’s Cup campaign, but for a smaller squad like China Team, it is a real achievement, as sailor Sebastian Destremeau explains. “To start with it’s the first time that a Chinese America’s Cup boat has touched the water. So it’s a special moment, for the whole country and for the team it’s a massive relief for the building team who have been working for six months flat out

“For the designers, now is when the stress starts as well because we have to do some structural testing and they’re going to be listening for cracks and stuff like that but obviously, it’s a very big moment for the whole team and as a sailor, we can’t wait.”

After the boat was craned into the water, the designers and boat-builders crawled through the hatches to inspect inside. These are their initial comments?

“As we speak, we’re just checking a few things inside…It’s the first time that the boat is loaded with the keel. Before, when you lift this boat, you lift the keel and the hull follows. Now, we have the boat in the water and there’s 20 tonnes pulling there and the mast is pushing as well so there is a lot of loading there. It’s nothing to compare with what will happen out there, but there are a few tests we do here, load the winches slowly, listen for cracks and if all goes well this afternoon we might for a little spin!”

Apparently CHN 95 stands out among the new America’s Cup boats for it’s ‘boxiness’ The boat is all straight lines and sharp corners?a design decision that Destremeau says the team is hoping will give it an advantage. “We’re not going to beat the other guys by out-sailing them. They’ve been training much harder than us and they have much more experience than us on this campaign. We’re not going to out-sail them, but we might be a little bit faster and that’s what we’re trying to do with this boat. And that’s why we’re a little bit extreme in the boxy thing? And we’re very confident that could give us an edge and obviously we need an edge to beat them.”