Emirates Team New Zealand is now official on its way to Bermuda for the 35th America’s Cup.
New Zealand Aotearoa, the team race boat, has been packed and loaded on the Emirates SkyCargo 747 departing from Auckland’s International Airport today.
From the final day sailing on Auckland’s Hauraki gulf the team has been working methodically breaking down the race boat, the wing sails, and stripping and servicing all of the systems in readiness to freight and subsequently refit onto the boat in Bermuda.
Emirates Team New Zealand COO Kevin Shoebridge explains:
“It really is a precise operation that the guys are running, but it was always going to be. We have had this plan in the pipeline for a good 6 months or so now, so at the end of the day it is just part of our process towards getting to Bermuda to bring the America’s Cup home to New Zealand.”
“But the deployment is on and every day counts, so we need everything go to plan so that we are back testing and sailing on the Great Sound in Bermuda in as little time as possible.”
The operation has been months in the planning from modelling the contents and loading of the aircraft, to getting bespoke racking produced, to physically packing everything onto the Emirates SkyCargo 747 aeroplane.
“We have our ACC race boat, two wing sails, a chase boat, daggerboards, gym equipment, electrics, hydraulics and a huge amount of supplementary equipment which equates to around 42 tonnes of cargo,” explained project manager Martin McElwee.
“All of a sudden we are on our way to Bermuda which is hugely exciting for everyone in the team, especially the three of us; Sean Regan, Chris Salthouse and myself that get to fly with the boat direct to Bermuda.”
Upon arrival in Bermuda the boat will be reassembled at the Emirates Team New Zealand base in the heart of the America’s Cup race village in the Royal Naval Dockyards.