Video: Emirates Team New Zealand officially launch boat for 2017 America's Cup

  • 16/02/2017

Emirates Team New Zealand have officially unveiled their pedal-powered catamaran for the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda.

The AC-50 catamaran has done away with the traditional hand-driven grinders and instead will use foot pedals.

Team New Zealand design coordinator Dan Bernasconi said everybody in the camp worked hard to keep it all a secret.

"We've been working on this behind closed doors really for three years form the initial concept," he said.

"We've worked really hard to keep it under wraps of course... It's great to get it out there to find out what it's like on the water, and show everyone what we've been working on.

"We're a pretty tight team. Everyone understands the importance in the America's Cup of people keeping a secret."

The idea to switch to pedal power was because leg muscles were generally stronger than arm muscles, Bernasconi said.

"We don't want to put any numbers out there, because that's what the others would like to know, but we're confident that it's a good solution for us."

The reveal of the new catamaran was carefully scheduled so that rivals would not have time to copy the team's innovation.

Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby said timing is key.

"It's really hard to know when to show your cards," he said.

"You have to learn how to sail your own boat. Last time with the foiling with the 72's we had to learn how to sail the boat, and we had to learn how to tack and jibe."

Ashby is hoping the new-look boat will be the one to lead Team New Zealand to victory and reclaim the Auld Mug.

"The cat's out of the bag, so to speak," he said.

"It's what we've been working on for the power train for the last two to two-and-a-half years. It's just one part of a massively complex problem to solve for these boats."

And as revealed by Newshub yesterday, the pedal-grinders are being led by Olympic medal-winning cyclist Simon van Velthooven.

Team New Zealand has two more Olympic stars in gold medal-winning sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, and former Olympic rowing champion Joseph Suillivan was also trialling with the team last year.

Team sponsor Emirates will air freight the boat to Bermuda, which will allow the team up to six weeks more training time.


Emirates Team New Zealand (Photosport)
Emirates Team New Zealand (Photosport)