Orm reaches Auckland
This means that the Swedish America's Cup challenge now has its second boat in place for the Louis Vuitton Cup challenge series.
The transport from Auckland harbour to the base on 85 Halsey Street took place in the early hours of the morning. It is Sunday, but it's still necessary to make sure the 24-metre America's Cup Class yacht doesn’t get in the way of the traffic. So she left the harbour at 0630. It's still winter dark in New Zealand; the sun will not rise until 0709 today.
She came to Auckland yesterday afternoon on the ship M/V Takio, which loads both containers and vehicles. Many agricultural machines and cars were rolled off in Auckland harbour before it was time for Orm, which then stood on the dock for the night. The hull was covered in a white tarp, especially the stern and the bow to disguise her lines. "It looks like she's in a tortilla wrap", says Adam Koziarski, captain of the Taiko from the Wallenius Wilhelmsen shipping company.
Orm has been on board Takio all through her ordinary route. She was loaded in Gothenburg destined for Auckland via Rotterdam, Hamburg, Southampton, St. John's in Canada, Baltimore and Savannah in the USA, and through the Panama Canal to the Pacific before reaching her destination.
After arriving at the Victory Challenge base, Orm was taken straight into the boatyard and the doors closed quickly. Inside is where Örn (SWE 63) has been ever since she arrived in November last year. Örn, with bulb and fin under cover, has now been placed outside.
"The arrival of Orm is something the whole team in Auckland has been waiting for", says Mats Johansson, project leader for Victory Challenge, while leaving his office to stand on the balcony outside to overlook the final stage of the transport. "We're counting on another ten days before she's ready for launching and we can start our testing."
Orm is unwrapped after entering the boatyard and there's no longer any chance of unwanted eyes being able to see her. Sponsor logotypes have already been affixed to the black hull. Most of the on-deck equipment is in place where the sails are to be positioned. But there are still the electronics to fit, amongst other things. Before the launch, we shall also be announcing the results of our Orm drawing contest - over one thousand entries have been submitted.
Two-boat training with Orm and Örn is hoped to get started by the end of August. Both the boats have been designed by German Frers Jr. and built in Gothenburg by Victory Challenge under the leadership of Chris Mellow. Örn acted as a prototype for the development of Orm. According to tank tests, Orm is faster than the evidently fast Örn.
"Of course, we won't be certain until we start sailing with her. But we hope that our development work has made her some tenths of a knot faster than Örn", says Mats Johansson.
Over a course of 18.5 nautical miles, this would mean a lot in an America's Cup match.