Lifting their skirts

The hullah surrounded Team New Zealand's 'hula' at the grand skirt lifting in Auckland today
Property values in Auckland likely shot up today when the two Team New Zealand boats were raised from the water, their skirts immodestly abandoned, to an adoring public. As Kiwi music legend Dave Dobbyn’s ‘Loyal’ screamed out of the loudspeakers, the two black hulls were simultaneously inched out of the water by travel lifts. As they came into view over the pier, a tiny crack appeared to run around the after section of both boats – evidence of what has come to be known as the ‘Kiwi Clip-On’. Suddenly the dock-talk was that we’d all be coming back to New Zealand in three years. So what was all the fuss about? The media has called it the ‘Kiwi Clip-On’, Team New Zealand syndicate head Tom Schnackenberg, clad in a Hawaiian shirt for the occasion, preferred ‘Hula’, simultaneously explaining his dress sense and that the term was an abbreviation for ‘hull appendage’. But this isn’t an appendage in the sense most people think of it. Neither a keel, nor a rudder, the ‘hula’ is best though of as a slice off the bottom of the after section of the boat. Attached along the centreline, separated from the hull by what appears to be about 5 millimetres, the ‘hula’ essentially cheats the rule, by adding length and volume, neither of which are measured. The ‘hula’ allows the boat to sail as if it’s longer, measure as if it’s shorter, and gives the designers an opportunity to play with things like displacement, draft, and adding more sail area. Critically, the black boats were designed around this, and that’s why the Team New Zealand designers are loath to embrace the ‘clip-on’ tag. “It’s not a matter of adding to a boat that you’ve already envisioned. The idea starts with the concept that you want to draw a boat that is