Good news, or any news from the 36th America’s Cup organisation is always welcome, and today they have gone into overdrive.
Firstly with the return of Britannia (RB1) from Cagliari and safely tucked up in the shed, Ben Ainslie and the INEOS Team UK crew now look forward to getting back on the water when the time is right. The UK Government coronavirus lockdown rules prevent them sailing at present.
The image above does show what appears to be a skeg attached under the hull from the bow. A possible temporary test item fitted while they were in Cagliari.
It mimics the skiff style underwater hull shape of the first Luna Rossa hull and may be a sign of things to come on RB2?
Secondly, with the event schedule in disarray and the build programmes for the second boats struggling to achieve completion, the America’s Cup organisers are taking the classic show business ‘It’ll be alright on the night’ approach . . .
America’s Cup media . . .
On the face of it, the (Covid-19) pandemic has contributed to a significant pile of unforeseen challenges for all of the teams that are both in and out of their control.
A more optimistic approach might be to consider the opportunities it could bring in the way the teams can react, adapt and the decisions they make in design, testing, logistics and planning day by day.
The best team to deal with the unpredictable will probably be the team with the America’s Cup high above its head in March 2021.
In that respect this America’s Cup almost seems normal – just with a more immediate challenge of navigating the global battle with COVID19.
Emirates Team New Zealand
For the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand they have the advantage of already physically residing in their hometown which is the venue of the 36th America’s Cup.
On the downside of their ledger, the build of their second AC75 has be halted for a painful 5 weeks while New Zealand has been on a Alert level 4 lockdown due to COVID-19.
Additionally, ‘Te Aihe’ their first AC75 is still on its European cruise to Italy and back as it has been since late January. Realisitically it is still a couple of months away from being on the water in Auckland.
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team
The Challenger of Record, still set up and riding out the national lock down in Cagliari have continued work at their base making repairs on their first AC75 which had significant bow damage in early March.
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team are likely the team that is best set to get back out on the water and testing their AC75.
They have made recent indications that their intention is to leave their arrival in Auckland until the last quarter of the year once they have made the most of their testing program over the prime Sardinian summer.
NYYC American Magic
American Magic, remain in Pensacola as the US is in lockdown fighting the COVID19.
They have their first AC75 ‘Defiant’ at their Florida base and well positioned to adapt their plans and movements as their options unfold in the global response to the coronavirus.
The build of their second AC75 has continued in Rhode Island thanks to some assistance from the State Governor and the Rhode Island Marine Trade Association.
INEOS Team UK
The British INEOS Team UK AC75, like the kiwis, has been on a ship and has just returned to their home base in Portsmouth after their intended summer base in Cagliari was promptly packed up as the coronavirus began to take a hold on Europe in March.
Then the decision to unpack and sail in the UK for the summer once lock down passes or redirect the shipment to Auckland as soon as the opportunity arises.
The build of their second AC75 has continued around the clock at Carrington Boats. Their Auckland base is the most advanced of all Challengers and is already well into construction, although work has been suspended while New Zealand is in lockdown.
And coming up on the outside . . . Stars + Stripes Team USA
The (very) quiet challenger Stars and Stripes has made some noises in the past few weeks.
Their co-founder Taylor Canfield stating they are still alive and jumping on the opportunity that the cancellation of the ACWS has presented in buying time to complete the build of their AC75 and get to Auckland by later in the year.
The clock continues to tick.