Emirates Team New Zealand revealed its second generation AC75 to the world at its base in Auckland’s Viaduct. It is the boat that will be used to defend the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada in just over 100 days’ time.
The boat was blessed by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and proudly christened ‘Te Rehutai’ by Lady Margaret Tindall in a ceremony in front of close to 900 friends, family, sponsors, suppliers and supporters of the team.
Taiaha Hawke from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei explained the significance of the name: “Te Rehutai: Where the essence of the ocean invigorates and energises our strength and determination.” Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei have named both Te Rehutai’s predecessors, Te Aihe and Te Kāhu. “This time we came up with some options to present to the team so they could come together collectively to decide on a name they felt resonated best with them as a team and clearly ‘Te Rehutai’ struck a chord with them.” said Hawke.
Te Rehutai is the last of the second generation AC75’s to be launched across the AC36 teams. The fleet of boats that will lock horns in the 36th edition of the 170 year old America’s Cup are now on display for the eagle eye enthusiasts to pore over the finer details with the common understanding that the fastest boat has always won the America’s Cup.
For Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton, boat launches are always a particularly proud day for the entire team. “These occasions are special because they give you a quick opportunity to take a moment and be proud of what has been achieved. But not by a long stretch is this the end, we still have a huge amount to achieve in the next 4 months if we are to win the America’s Cup again.”
Time will tell how important those intangibles will be. There is plenty that is different looking at the overall shape of Te Rehutai. Not a traditional looking hull shape which points to the clear aerodynamic emphasis given to the design.
Dan Bernasconi, Head of Design, said: “We’ve been searching for the perfect balance between hydrodynamic and aerodynamic performance. An AC75 that was optimised purely to accelerate and take-off would look very different to one which was optimised for steady-flight – and that’s reflected in the huge variation we see between our Competitors’ yachts in the fleet. Te Rehutai is designed to excel in both domains – the water and the air – and we’re confident she’ll be competitive across the range of wind-speeds we may see in the America’s Cup.