Emirates Team New Zealand, after the short hiatus on Christmas Day, has already returned to training in Auckland waters (New Zealand), to prepare for the final of the 36th America’s Cup, in early March 2021.
While the three challenging teams, Luna Rossa Prada, American Magic and INEOS Team UK, prepare for the Prada Cup, the tournament that will face the defender, Team New Zealand, and which will be played from January 15 to 22 February 2021, the ‘kiwi’ team will train for eleven weeks alone to prepare the defense of the Auld Mug (the trophy of the America’s Cup or Jar of 40 guineas; the oldest sports trophy in the world).
After victories in the World Series and the Christmas Cup, the New Zealanders are now busy hiding the full potential of their second AC75, the ‘Te Rehutai’ (Sea Breeze), after success in those two competitions.
The ‘Te Rehutai’ showed itself as a fast ship and, more importantly, comparatively faster than all its rivals. They have all admitted that, saying that kiwis are “one step ahead”.
But it is more than that. Radically different from its rivals in many features, Team New Zealand designers claim to have delivered a third-generation boat when their opponents just launched the second-generation in this new AC75 class.
On the 17th, Team New Zealand surprised the world by opening the World Series with a victory over Luna Rossa Prada by 3’13 “and achieved the highest speed record with a peak of 49.1 knots (91 km / h) .
From there it appeared that Team New Zealand’s chief designer, Dan Bernasconi, ordered the navigation team to hit the brakes a bit and for the monitoring department to pay more attention to the designs and evolution of their rivals. The goal was to gather more information from the rivals than they could get from their AC75.
The truth is that the true speed potential of ‘Te Rehutai’ is still strictly guarded in the Team New Zealand data bank.
Another point for the New Zealanders’ rivals to study is the ‘Te Rehutai’s’ futuristic hull shape and its ability to rise above the water so efficiently. The minimal surface of the ‘foils’ (ailerons) is one of the keys to the New Zealand boat, a factor that Team New Zealand already dominated in the last edition of the America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017.
During the World Series victory two weeks ago, it was already seen that ‘Te Rehutai’ had remarkably different ‘foils’ from their rivals. An expensive example that their ‘T’ end foils had less surface area than the ‘Y’ end of the American Magic, Luna Rossa and INEOS Team UK.
It’s an incredibly technical area, but the smaller ‘foils’ are faster to move and produce less water resistance. They are more difficult to control, require more coordination with the sail system, but with stronger winds that control leads to a winning combination.
Ultimately, the ‘foils’ must be fast in the wide wind range of 6.5 to 23 knots (12 to 44 km / h) that will be allowed for the America’s Cup final regattas. This will be the case because the two teams that will be in the final will only be able to choose one set of ‘foils’ for the best-of-13 series.
The New Zealand team skipper Peter Burling is already in the eye of the hurricane for his rivals because when you have an AC75 as fast as the ‘Te Rehutai’, the rivals will always target pre-start wings to get an early advantage over him, especially with rivals like Jimmy Spithill, Sir Ben Ainslie and Dean Barker commanding those AC75s ..
The World Series pre-starts led to many penalties and Burling was spotty. Now they will have to train to get off to a good start and Burling will spend a lot of time rehearsing his pre-start plays in the simulator.
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