With deliveries of the foil arms finally taking place it is expected that the America’s Cup teams will all launch and sail their AC75 foiling monohulls in the coming weeks.
The Defender Emirates Team New Zealand, Challenger of Record Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, NYYC American Magic, and INEOS TEAM UK are all preparing to reveal their first AC75 boats.
The fifth America’s Cup team – Stars + Stripes Team USA – is believed to have financial problems, but hopes to have their boat on the water later this year.
Martin Fischer – co-design coordinator at Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team – “The opportunity to design an America’s Cup boat to a brand-new rule is very rare – typically something that happens only every 10 or 15 years,”
Ben Ainslie, team Principal and skipper at the British INEOS TEAM UK syndicate, said he expected there to be huge interest when the first AC75s are launched.
“This is an entirely new concept of boat so there has been a lot of anticipation about how it will sail and how it will perform at this scale,”
“We have seen the test boats out there over the last 12 months or so, but to get the real deal – 75-foot foiling monohulls out there means there will be a lot of interest.”
Ainslie described the planned launch and first sail of the British AC75 as a milestone moment for the team – especially given that the first opportunity for the teams to race against each other will be in April 2020 at the America’s Cup World Series regatta in Cagliari, Sardinia.
“Certainly as a team there has been a huge amount of work and effort that has gone into designing and building this boat,” He said. “It will be a real thrill to get it out sailing for the first time and to get it up on the foils and see how it manoeuvres.”
Ainslie said he expected the new boats to be stunning to watch and a real handful for the crews – despite being made up of some of the best sailors in the world – to master.
“I think this boat will turn heads for sure,” he said. “I’m expecting it to be the most exciting boat that I have ever sailed – a 75-foot foiling monohull. The predicted speeds of these boats are really quite phenomenal, and it is going to be a huge challenge and a huge adrenaline rush to sail them well.”
Although the precise timing of when individual teams might splash their AC75s for the first time is a closely guarded secret, it is likely that they will conduct one or more unannounced ‘private’ test sails, potentially followed by a more public official launch or naming ceremony.