Monday, 23 July 2012

Americas Cup AC72 Catamaran Launch in Auckland New Zealand

With much fanfare and palpable excitement the Emirates Team New Zealand 
Americas Cup AC72 catamaran has been launched at the Viaduct Basin in downtown Auckland.

These new machines are massive beasts and absolutely dwarf the AC45 cats
the teams have been racing in the World Series up until now.

AC72 Official Launch - Auckland
The skills learned under racing conditions on the smaller vessels will now be tested to the max on the huge AC72 and I would suspect that all crews will be approaching the challenge with a strong mixture of excitement and trepidation. It will be like going to a whole new level (when you compare the size difference) of skillset and no doubt a scary proposition for every crew member.

The speed alone is something that will take time to adjust to and then the height the outside sponson will be above the water in the event of a capsize. A crew member hanging on and looking down with the prospect of falling, will be dangling almost 50ft above the water! a position every crew will be praying that they never find themselves in....?  
Size comparison Artemis AC45 and AC72
The video also gives an impression of the size of the AC72 as you walk around the hull - note all the various lifting and placement equipment - the crew are involved in a very complex and delicate task getting the huge wing up and the boat rigged, ready to go splash - which she does shortly after.

For the more technical of you, cast your eye over the spec. chart below to get an idea of the difference in size of the two classes of boats.
Specification chart comparison AC45 and AC72
When one considers the funding required to keep these challenges afloat (excuse the pun), it becomes blatantly obvious that none would survive if it weren't for the wide range of sponsors that support them. Emirates Team New Zealand have added one or two more in recent times and I am sure the other teams have a similar need.

With the launch of these amazing vessels the stage is now set to witness probably the most spectacular Americas Cup ever, with many rounds to go yet before reaching the final races in San Franscisco in July 2013 - watch this space. 

You can read more about racing around the cans in a much more modest fashion whilst cruising, in my ebook 'Sailing Adventures in Paradise', downloadable from my website

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