After some exciting racing between two evenly matched foiling 75 foot monohulls in the America’s Cup the whole of the New Zealand nation is celebrating with Emirates Team New Zealand in Auckland today.
In three and a half years from a blank piece of paper all four teams have designed some amazing flying machines that can perform manoeuvres at 40 knots in only 10 knots of breeze. Race 8 stands out as a real nail biter when both boats came off their foils and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli could only watch as a 4 minute lead turned into a 4 minute deficit. The light to moderate conditions provided challenges to both teams. The massive wind shadows giving the advantage to winning the starts (LRPP) and the smaller foils (ETNZ) having an advantage once up on the foils. The Italians did well to stay ahead for as long as they did with superior tactics against a boat with a “click” faster straight line speed. The above photo shows how ETNZ have surprised everyone once more with a rule work around to gain an extra 2 feet on the mainsail by lowering the deck and are about to shoot past LRPP as they belly flop onto the water. Previously in San Francisco it was leg power to drive the hydraulic controls to the massive sails. Well deserved congratulations and a good job by all the sailors and shore teams.
Over the next few days we shall learn more about the future of the Cup and the 37th Match in 2025. In the meantime fans of 12m racing will be able to look forward to another spectacle when the World Championships are held on August 16-27 in Helsinki, Finland.