America’s Cup: American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson impressed with latest Team New Zealand boat

American Magic skipper and executive director Terry Hutchinson is impressed by the latest America’s Cup vessel unveiled by Team New Zealand.

Team New Zealand were the last syndicate to launch their second AC75, cracking the champagne over the bowsprit of the vessel named Te Rehutai yesterday evening.

Speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Matt Brown, Hutchinson, whose American Magic syndicate were the first to launch their second race vessel, said Team New Zealand had developed a unique boat.

“You can see a lot of clever ideas and you can see the evolution that they took from boat one through their little test boat which is probably a pretty critical component to the development of their boat two,” he said.

“It’s an exciting time because, interestingly, there are some features in that boat that we saw in the INEOS boat, so there is a lot of clever thinking going on. You know without question the boat is going to be fast and you know there’s been a lot of smart people working on it. As always, you hold the utmost respect for what you see.”

American Magic and fellow challengers INEOS Team UK and Luna Rossa have already been sailing their second vessels out on the Waitematā Harbour over the past couple of weeks, and Team New Zealand are expected to join them in the days ahead as they prepare for the World Series event in Auckland in a month.

“All the teams had the same challenge – we had very little time where we saw the other teams’ boats, but we didn’t really gain a lot from the recon other than the obvious of looking at the hulls, the foils and the set-up of the boat,” Hutchinson said of developing a second vessel.

“What’s interesting is how the defender gravitated towards some clever ideas of our neighbours, but we all had to make assumptions. Probably the most interesting one is when you look across at Luna Rossa, they stuck very close to home with the evolution of their boat two, and the other three kicked the ball pretty far down the field and see where it lands. So, it’s a very interesting evolution.

“The time that you take to make the boat better, that’s where the regatta is going to be won; that’s where all the teams face the challenge to just get better.”

Next month’s event will be the only opportunity the syndicates have to race against one another before the challenger series. It is yet to be decided if Team New Zealand will be allowed to take part in that warm-up event after claims they were late with their entry fee.

It has caused yet another dispute between them and Challenger of Record Luna Rossa, and now likely rests in the hands of the Arbitration Panel.

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