Stuff.co.nz. By Duncan Johnstone
Team New Zealand's build of their first foiling monohull for the 2021 America's Cup is under way. Dan Bernasconi, head of design at Emirates Team New Zealand, confirmed there was progress being made on the 75 foot monster that cannot be launched before the end of next March under Cup rules.
The team are forging ahead with their design and build without having a scaled down test boat on the water like Team INEOS UK and the New York Yacht Club's American Magic syndicate.
Bernasconi confirmed they would instead be using simulators for their development, a proven method that formed the basis of their late but rapid gains in winning the last America's Cup in Bermuda.
"We are under way with the build, that's going really. It's exciting to see the first hull come together," Bernasconi told Stuff on Monday as Team New Zealand and telecommunications giant Spark explained the big benefits the looming 5G network would bring to the defence of the America's Cup in Auckland.
He said they had taken huge interest in the launch of the two test boats by their rivals but had confidence in their own alternative plans.
"For us it's a bit of relief that the concept works," he said of the opposition test boats getting up on their foils.
"They are obviously ahead of us in terms of actually having a boat on the water. We have decided to put our efforts into simulation but it's great to see other teams, the Americans and the Brits, out there testing the concept. As well as the fact it works, they are actually loving it. They are saying it's a really cool boat to sail and it's exciting.
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