The second America’s Cup AC75 launch, by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s AC75, is expected next week following the Team New Zealand launch this Friday.
Team New Zealand are reported to have sent out 869 invitations for the launch of their new America’s Cup boat (code named ‘RB1’) on Friday in Auckland.
Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton told the Kiwi news website Stuff that Italian outfit Luna Rossa had already indicated they were “really looking forward” to seeing the Kiwi boat to get a gauge on their own AC75 which will be launched in Sardinia early next week.
The New York Yacht Club American Magic’s first AC75 was recently filmed during the move to their sailing base of operations near Newport, but no further information on their launch date.
The fifth America’s Cup team – Stars + Stripes Team USA – is yet to complete the build of its AC75, but the team hopes to have the boat on the water later this year.
The British INEOS TeamUK has not so far responded to requests for information on their launch date.
The New Zealand team did not build a mini prototype but have relied on the simulator and put all their effort into the first AC75 design without any other distraction.
Following the ceremonial launch, complete with a blessing from Ngati Wahtua, the local iwi, there will be a traditional christening.
It is not expected that anything below the waterline will be revealed, and the mast will not be in place if the wind is considered too strong.
Emirates Team New Zealand will then have to carry out a complex calibration check of the hydraulics and operating systems to compare them with the simulator settings they have been training on.
RB1 will not go sailing immediately following the launch and with strong winds forecast for next week, the first sail could be over a week away.
The New Zealand team will get five months testing in the Southern Hemisphere Spring and Summer with RB1 before she shipped to Europe for the first America’s Cup World Series event, scheduled for Cagliari, Italy, 23 to 26 April 2020.
The British are expected to ship their first AC75 to Cagliari directly after launch for test sailing to avoid the UK winter.
Although Luna Rossa will also be based in Cagliari, they are not allowed to sail against each other, but are sure to be carefully watching and comparing performance parameters.