New Zealand Embassy Tokyo, Japan
New Zealand, yachting superpower!
Kiwi sailors are back in the action in the ultimate sailing contest – the 34th America’s Cup, which is being sailed in the waters off San Francisco. In the preliminary contest among the challengers, the Louis Vuitton Cup, the giant new 26m AC72 catamarans are hitting speeds in excess of 40 knots (74 km/h).
Team New Zealand successfully challenged for the America’s Cup in San Diego in 1995 and successfully defended the Cup in Auckland in 2000 before losing it to Switzerland’s Alinghi in 2003. Prior to that New Zealand was a challenger in Fremantle in 1987, San Diego in 1988 (with the giant KZ-1) and again in 1992. The technology and skills the New Zealand syndicate developed over the years, drawing on the experience of the many kiwis active in inshore and offshore sailing, helped make New Zealand one of the acknowledged yachting superpowers.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise are helping to showcase New Zealand marine innovation and technology during the three-month regatta in San Francisco – check out their America’s Cup page here.
And for those of you who want to see what the radical new technology has done to America’s Cup racing, here is the America’s Cup Youtube page with regularly updated video footage of the racing. Over the weekend Emirates Team New Zealand scored a big win over rival Luna Rossa Challenge, crossing the finish line to the 15.47 nm course more than five minutes in front.