INEOS Team UK chief executive Grant Simmer in conversation with veteran Australian yachting commentator Peter Shipway on his Cruising Yacht Club of Australia podcast.
The initial comments from Simmer highlighted the problem of actually entering New Zealand with the quarentien requirements for non-resideints.
He said that they had not heard any news from the New Zealand Government on work visas to allow them to get their team into Auckland to complete quarantine, fit out their their base and start things happening . . . “It’s hard for us to plan without that advice.”
Simmer thought that the Kiwis were playing a competitive game, and he didn’t think that they were in any hurry to tell them when the visas would be issued.
This problem and lack of any firm news has also been highlighted by American Magic syndicate head Terry Hutchinson, who wants to be sailing in Auckland by July.
Simmer did confirm that second boat was about two thirds through build at Carringtons in the UK, with 40 people working a double-shift arrangement, plus a team working the Portsmouth base.
He hoped that they would be able to get afloat in a couple of weeks (end May) as the UK restrictions are eased.
In describing the potential speeds, he said they achieved 23-33 knots upwind and around mid forties downwind, limited by the cavitation speed of the foils.
Simpson claimed that the first Ineos AC75 was designed to sail OK in displacement mode, assuming light breeze (under 8 knots) start time of around 13:00 hrs in New Zealand.
While the New Zealand and Italian boats were designed with a bussle to sail only with a touch-down and mainly in foil mode, taking into account the stronger sea-breeze at (the now revealed) 16:00 hrs start time.
And thus you could expect to see a considerable change to the hull of the second Ineos AC75!
Grant Simmer has competed in ten and won four America’s Cup’s in numerous roles including sailor, designer, senior manager and now CEO with INEOS Team UK . . . Monday 19 May was his Birthday.