Emirates Team New Zealand AC 40
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.
Standing by to receive the custom-built flat rack securing the AC40 from the ship at Northport in Whangarei was Operations and Reliability Manager Nick Burridge, “This is a massively exciting day for us, it’s been a huge effort by the team at Emirates Team New Zealand, but also the team at McConaghy Boats who 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.
“We rigged up the boat with numerous sensors just to measure strains going through the hull for the tests,” explained Mechatronics Engineer Kelly Hartzell “And then we’ve got a bunch of load cells that we hooked up and to start pulling on things, to make sure everything’s kind of behaving the way that we expect it to.”