Emirates Team New Zealand revealed their new custom designed and built test boat Te Kahu in Auckland. Te Kahu, meaning ‘The Hawk’, was rolled out of the shed on Wednesday.
Te Kāhu fits within the rules on test yachts according to the 36th America’s Cup Protocol which says they must not exceed 12 metres length overall (LOA). The boat will be used by the team to continue design development for a large proportion of 2020 while their AC75 ‘Te Aihe’ is being shipped and raced offshore for the America’s Cup World Series.
While Te Aihe is being shipped 60 days either way to and from Europe, by launching Te Kāhu now, Emirates Team New Zealand plan to continue their on-water development programme uninterrupted.
Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton said: “In Te Kāhu we have a very legitimate test boat which will provide us the platform to hopefully make some significant gains in our developments for 2021. Who is right in their overall plans and strategy we have no idea. I guess we will find out next year.”
“There is no doubt looking back that the Challengers all learnt some valuable lessons and got a bit of a jump on us with their developments. But it was a conscious decision of ours to suck that up and play the long game knowing that points don’t start to count until the first race of the America’s Cup, which obviously is in March 2021” continued Dalton.