Who knows what Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena thought when he saw Team New Zealand’s second AC 75. Maybe the Italian team director had already had some anticipation and was not surprised, but this boat seems destined to be the talk of the town in the coming days.
It is in the meantime because this will be the defender’s boat, the one that will try to keep the America’s Cup in New Zealand by fending off the challengers’ attacks. It is therefore the most anticipated boat in this edition of the Cup. But“Te Reuthai“, as it has been christened, will also be talked about for the design choices glimpsed already from the first images. Indeed, this boat looks like a synthesis of the challengers’ boats, with some new features in addition. It has a “skeg” reminiscent of that of Ineos, rather bulky, but the contours of the skeg are as soft as those of Luna Rossa. Instead, the bow is closer to that of American Magic, V-shaped in the Australian skiff style while being for all intents and purposes different. From the Americans’ boat, however, it definitely departs in regard to the much more hollowed-out front volumes. The idea seems to be to limit the wet area to the skeg when the boat will not be sailing on foils. Instead, the hollowed-out volumes ending in a slight edge on the outer edge of the boat seem designed to provide buoyancy if the boat were to descend violently from the foils, thus avoiding heavy bow-tie. In the stern, on the other hand, flat volumes and a rather pronounced outer edge. In principle, however, the shapes seem less aerodynamic than those of Luna Rossa, which are absolutely devoid of edges. Almost as if it were a different interpretation of critical issues.
However, the shapes of the new AC 75 kiwi are very different from those of the first New Zealand boat. Indicating that therefore perhaps the former was not as competitive as many claimed.
The “summary” made by the New Zealanders raises a question: did they copy the other teams or vice versa? There is no answer at the moment, but in a sense Team New Zealand’s choices make it clear that some made by other teams would also be accurate. Paradoxically, the boat most different from the defender seems to be Luna Rossa’s. And back to the first question: was Max Sirena surprised to find out?
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