The first AC40 is just weeks away from being shipped from the McConaghy build facility in China to its new base in Auckland, New Zealand.
The new pocket-rocket will be used in One Design mode for both the Women’s and Youth events as well as being a testbed for the America’s Cup works teams.
The first AC40 is expected at the Emirates Team New Zealand base in Auckland for its on water commissioning in August 2022.
The British AC40 will be the second off the production line and will be with the team before the end of the year.
Very much off the boards of the Emirates Team New Zealand Technology & Design Department, the build of the yachts has been overseen by long-standing ETNZ team-member Richard Meacham with fellow Kiwi Jamie Thompson the Project Manager.
The hull, foil arms, rudders, mechatronics, hydraulics, and programmable logic controllers have all come directly from ETNZ’s design teams with the foil arms and rudders being created at ETNZ’s build facility on Auckland’s North Shore.
The boomless, double-skinned sails have been designed in collaboration with North Sails whilst the two-piece masts have been crafted by Southern Spars in Avondale, Auckland.
“It’s a step on in terms of hull form from the Cup winning design of Te Rehutai,” commented Richard Meacham, “that adheres to all the fundamental rule changes implemented for the AC75’s and we’re looking at performance estimates way in excess of our training boat, Te Kahu, or any of the other teams’ test mules that they ran in the lead up to AC36.”
And whilst for the Women’s & Youth America’s Cups, the AC40’s will be returned to strict one-design for the fleet and match-racing formats recently announced; where the AC40’s will really come into their own is as a testing platform for the teams.
Ten custom jibs and four mainsails are permitted to be built. Teams will also be allowed to build just one custom mast in addition to the two-piece supplied as standard.
Down below, the auto-pilot controls the ride height only and can be manipulated, holding the wing at a certain set point below the water.
If the teams want to change the pitch angle or trim differently for conditions, then there needs to be manual intervention whilst all foil cant operations during the high-speed manoeuvres are controlled by direct input from the crew.
With the first AC40 boat due to be sailing in the next few months and throughout the New Zealand summer, the subsequent AC40’s will be rolling off the production line for the main teams in quick succession.