AC40: America’s Cup first ‘mini’ yacht cruise

Emirates Team New Zealand has successfully completed the first day of testing the new AC40, which will be used in the run-up to the 37th America’s Cup, and for the Youth and Women’s Club.

America’s Cup defender Emirates Team New Zealand He reported his first successful sail from the first AC40 in New Zealand on Tuesday, 20 September 2022, after a successful draw test earlier in the week.

The America’s Cup “mini” class is a completely new design. On the boat’s first sail, the crew successfully completed a jeep thwart and thwart operation, illustrating how quickly the design of this new generation of monohull has evolved.

Purchasing AC40 is a prerequisite for every team that enters America’s Cup 37 Using the mini boats used in America’s Cup Introductory series (two events in the lead up to the same trophy), reintroduced America Youth Cup.

The concept of both the AC Youth and Preliminary Events (formerly known as the America’s World Cup) was a feature of past America’s Cups, but both were dropped in the run-up to the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland.

37 AC will also introduce a new concept in America’s Women’s Cupwhich will (arguably for many) occur in the smaller AC40 class.

AC40 during the first day of testing in New Zealand. Photo: Emirates Team New Zealand

The first AC40 test sail was conducted by a number of Emirates crew in New Zealand, with the boat piloted by the team’s newest high-profile signature, Nathan Outridge.

Team Kiwi reports that it only took a few minutes for helmsman Nathan Outridge to go from a cautious offset position to blasting the AC40 on his chips and off on the starboard side, cruising at 20+ knots for the boat in the light 8-10 knots of the breeze.

Despite his extensive America’s Cup experience (Outteridge was the captain of Artemis Racing in both the 2013 and 2017 America’s Cup), this was the Australian’s first day sailing a monohull.

“Obviously it was a very successful day, it was an impressive sailing boat for my first time with this type of boat,” Outridge said afterwards. “It gets a little annoying when trying to build up speed, but once you get a little bit of speed and foil, it goes from about 10 knots to 20 knots in about 5 seconds. So both are impressive, the acceleration and reliability.”

Join Outteridge aboard the ship for demo sailing ETNZ coach Ray Davies, with Nick Burridge and Sam Meech. The team has also recently developed a hydrogen-powered chase boat, chase zero Out of the water for the day.

“An amazing team effort to go out there and do the first step as frustration, and the first step as frustration step,” Davis concluded. “The boat is going really well, we have some tweaks for sure, but it’s great sailing with Nath, Sam and Nick. All the supporting guys have done an incredible job, out of the box and we’ve been ripping around.”

Newly developed hydrogen powered and AC40 powered chase boat. Photo: Emirates Team New Zealand

The AC40s are designed to be dual-purpose boats, providing single-design races in the lead up to the America’s Cup itself (and for AC men and women) but also to serve as a testing platform for teams to develop and experiment with concepts before they build their AC75s for the America’s Cup.

This second function is vital for cost control – developing concepts on a smaller class is much cheaper than on the larger AC75.

But when it comes to the two pre-AC events (a third pre-event will be sailed in AC75s), the America’s Youth Cup and the Women’s America’s Cup, all boats will need stripping to conform to the one-AC40 design rule.

The teams are now hoping the delivery schedule stays on track so they can also get their AC40 (which will be delivered in order for the America’s Cup teams to enter the event) and begin their testing program.

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