Lifting their skirts


Half of New Zealand and all of the world's sailing press descend on the Team New Zealand base to see the Kiwi defender unveiled for the second time
 

Half of New Zealand and all of the world's sailing press descend on the Team New Zealand base to see the Kiwi defender unveiled for the second time

James Boyd reports from unveiling day for the America's Cup contenders in Auckland
It is easy to see why aside from their having signed stringent and binding Official Secrets Act-style documents, that America's Cup designers are loath to talk in much detail about the work they have carried in their attempt to win the Auld Mug for their teams. The depth of research teams have the resource to delve into searches into every aspect of the design and is quite incomparible compared to any other area of yachting. A far fairly lengthy book could be written about each syndicate in this respect and as yesterday's unveilings here in Auckland revealed - they would be very different books in the case of the two yachts competing in the America's Cup. As the photos on the next few pages show there are marked differencies between the challenger - Alinghi's SWI64 - and Team New Zealand's NZL82, the defender. NZL82 has the controversial 'hula' (see page 7) the supposed appendage that attaches to the after third of her hull beneath the water. The idea of the hula is to reduce measured length, thereby allowing an increase in sail area or deeper draft. Alinghi tried this, then dispensed with the idea and in reality there is little way that such a radical feature can be added to boat unless it has been there since it left the designer's board prior to construction beginning. There is considerable headscratching about how Team New Zealand can guarantee that this supposed appendage never touches the hull. Team New Zealand say that they have proved this to the measurers and both parties have agreed to keep it confidential. The hula is attached to the hull along a 0.5m wide strip down the centreline of the boat - this is how it qualifies as an appendage - and would appear to be around

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