Emirates Team New Zealand launched its new AC75 at Wynyard Point a couple of days before this issue went to press.

Launched it and almost immediately sailed out on the Waitemata into the gathering dusk. The weekend saw further testing, which is remarkable so soon after launching and demonstrates their confidence in the boat, which won’t be lost on the other teams. It was quite a sight – one we were familiar with a few years ago when AC75s training and racing on the harbour was commonplace. I’ve missed them – the AC45s are great, but they’re not quite the real deal.

ETNZ is the second syndicate to reveal its new race boat after the Swiss a few weeks ago and the other syndicates can’t be far behind.

The America’s Cup is as much about technology as it is about sailing, possibly more so. It’s an arms race. But with the wraps now coming off the boats, what we see is pretty much what we’ll get on race day – there’s still scope for further development and fine-tuning of course, especially the foils, but the boats themselves are built. It remains to be seen who has got it right – or at least more of it right more of the time.

ETNZ’s yet to be named new boat looks quite different to its 2021 AC winner Te Rehutai, as does Alinghi’s new boat. The first two 2024 AC75s off the rank are broadly similar with their swoopy lines and rear bustles, but as we will doubtless learn, the devil is in the detail.


For this iteration of the America’s Cup the crew of eight will hunker down inside the bustle in their crew pods with no changing sides. The bustle tapers all the way to the transom in the Kiwi boat but cuts off more abruptly and is open at the back in the Swiss boat. Both transoms are flat platforms and there are no rear stays.

ETNZ’s new boat has a noticeably more flared bow and an almost dead-straight keel. The Kiwis are claiming their design is ‘aggressive’, but some commentators are calling it the more conservative of the boats revealed so far – a development rather than a radical step.

With more boats on the way – Italy’s Prada Pirelli was due to launch theirs on the day we went to press – it will be fascinating to see which team has made the right design choices, especially since weather prediction based on historical data has become so unreliable with climate change.

The Louis Vuitton 37th America’s kicks off in August with the Preliminary Regattas and culminates in October with The America’s Cup Match. I’m looking forward to enjoying what should be a great event. I still think it’s a shame, though, the drama and spectacle is happening in Barcelona and not here in Auckland.

Happy Boating,

John Eichelsheim