Riding shotgun on Emirates Team NZ’s AC72 at 43.6kts

With ORACLE in the shed after a capsize that smashed the wing and tore up the hulls, and ARTEMIS and LUNA ROSA just getting started, Emirates Team New Zealand is looking stronger every day. Richard Gladwell reports from the Hauraki Gulf after a sail topping 43 knots on just how strong they are.

‘Sail-World’s Richard Gladwell (red wet weather gear) , checks out the wingsail twist as Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC72 rips across the Hauraki Gulf at speeds of over 40kts’ Chris Cameron/ETNZ©

Sail-World.com’s NZ and America’s Cup Editor, Richard Gladwell, spent three hours perched on the after beam of Emirates Team NZ’s AC72 for a training session on the Hauraki Gulf. Sailing in winds of up to 25kts, the AC72 hit an amazing 43.6kts and didn’t even feel like she was breaking into a sweat. He reports on Wednesday’s race and test session.

Imagine you are standing on top of an Emirates jet on that final mad charge down the runway before takeoff.

The engines are screaming and every imperfection in the runway is magnified into the jolting that reverberates through the plane just before it leaves the ground.

Next, take that mental snapshot and overlay it on to a boat the dimensions of a tennis court (well three metres wider), flying down the harbour, a couple of metres above the sea, travelling at a speed of more than 40kts.

This is the surreal world of the AC72 catamaran and the 34th America’s Cup.

Today Emirates Team New Zealand’s skipper Dean Barker is putting his crew through a seven-hour programme of race practice and testing on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, venue for the 2000 and 2003 America’s Cups.

The AC72 is a boat like you’ve never seen or experienced before.

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