The first AC40 off the production line was unloaded from its ship and transported into the Emirates Team New Zealand base in a typically understated fashion last week.
The boat represents a number of things for the Team and the Event. It will be centre stage for the Women and Youth America’s Cups in 2024, but prior to that it will be the first boat that Emirates Team New Zealand has sailed since race 9 of the 36th America’s Cup in March 2021.
It also represents the beginning of the vitally important on-water testing and development programme, the results of which will evolve into the team’s new AC75 that will be raced to defend the 37th America’s Cup in October 2024.
McConaghy Boats have presented us an immaculate looking boat and now we’ve got a pretty compressed sort of 10 to 12 days’ worth of QA (Quality Assurance) checks we’re going to carry out on the boat.
Structural testing of a new boat is always tense for the engineers of the team as the platform is flipped upside down and rigged up to apply the predicted load cases the AC40 will experience while racing.
The purpose here is to make sure the boat is structurally sound from a design and build point of view so that when we go sailing on the first day we can have confidence that the boat is as strong as designed, everyone will be safe and it will perform as it should.
With successful structural tests complete, the shore-based commissioning continues this week with a complete series of hydraulic, electronic and PLC tests of sailing systems and manoeuvres of over 100 tacks and gybes inside the base.