PHOTOS: AC45 launched

One design solid wingsail catamaran - she's a beauty!

Sunday January 16th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: New Zealand

While the wing arrived in Auckland yesterday, so the AC45 was assembled and launched today in the Viaduct Basin.

The design and build team accelerated the schedule due to a forecast calling for strong winds associated with a tropical cyclone tomorrow which might hold the team ashore for a few days.

“Today we achieved a huge step,” said Tim Smyth of Core Builders Composites. “The logistics of getting the boat with the wing sail in and out of the water is often the trickiest part. We lifted a wing with a single crane for the first time today (the USA-17 trimaran required a two-crane system), so we now have proof of concept on our one-crane lifting system. We still have some fine-tuning to do but now we have a comfort level with the process. This will help streamline the logistics for the America’s Cup World Series regattas later this year.”

After the successful test, the boat was brought back into the boat yard, and the wing and platform returned to the shed for the night.

The team will roll the platform and wing back out of the shed at 06:00 on Monday morning with plans for a short test sail before the weather turns.

“It looks like Mother Nature will be dictating our sailing schedule this week so we will have to take one day at a time, but the test crew is ready to get out there. We will give it a go in the morning,” said Smyth.

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