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America's Cup: A Harbour of two Halves - Emirates TNZ's AC72 revealed    
Wed, 18 Jul 2012

Auckland's Viaduct Harbour was the scene this morning for the unveiling of Emirates Team New Zealand's America's Cup Challenger, and the first of the AC72 class to be seen in the world.

The occasion was unannounced, but the waterfront hotline was functioning perfectly and there were spectators aplenty - a mix of media and 'interested onlookers' associated with other America's Cup teams.

All assembled opposite the Emirates Team NZ base - some with a long lens, others with binoculars. 'All the usual suspects', commented an Emirates Team NZ member - as they kept one eye on the peanut stalls and the other on the boat.

On the Emirates Team NZ side of the Viaduct it was a case of make haste to get the 40metre wingsail in place, while the wind stayed light, and to also hoist the jib before the wind piped in. Some of the sponsors' logos are missing from the lower part of the wingsail, something that should be rectified by launch date.

Sail-World was positioned with the public ground spectators opposite the base, together with a long lens.

Unsurprisingly the AC72 looks like a bigger version for the AC45 used in the America's Cup World Series. This AC72, the first of two that Emirates Team NZ will launch, is open design.

She is also the first AC72 to be seen anywhere in the world.

Major features were the grinding pedestals, not seen for five years an an America's Cup boat (the two protagonists in the Deed of Gift Match in 2010 used engines to provide hydraulic power for the winches), and steering wheels in place of the tiller steering used in the AC45's.

The first sail is expected to be early next week, after a public launch on Saturday July 21 at 5.30pm to which all the public is invited.

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by Richard Gladwell

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