Taihoro takes to water

Emirates Team New Zealand are back sailing in Barcelona aboard their AC75 ‘Taihoro’.

04 July 2024


ETNZ’s AC75, Taihoro, meaning to move swiftly as the sea between both sky and earth, took to the water off Barcelona on its first experience of the racecourse for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup.

Since Taihoro’s arrival at the base last week after its 28-day shipping journey from New Zealand, the Emirates Team New Zealand shore crew have been working tirelessly to get prepared for sailing, including fitting and preparing two new foils which until today had remained unseen.

With thunderstorms crossing Catalonia on Saturday the team waited patiently for them to pass before heading out for a brief afternoon sail in a building 10-18 knot SW breeze and lumpy sea state.


“It is great to have reached this really important milestone that we’ve had for well over a year now- to be sailing back in Barcelona by July 1st which we have actually exceeded by a day or so.” said Emirates Team New Zealand COO Kevin Shoebridge.

Emirates Team New Zealand are the last of the teams competing in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup to be sailing in Barcelona, with the five challengers now well ensconced in host city and getting used to the varied conditions that the racecourse offers up.

“To be honest it hasn’t been easy watching all of the other teams tick up the days sailing on their new AC75’s here in Barcelona, clearly improving and getting faster.

“But we have our own program to focus on, so the importance of hitting these milestones cannot be understated and the work that goes into reaching them from every person in the team cannot be understated.

“Sailing Taihoro today represents months of hard work, dedication, and meticulous planning and this is the beginning of the next phase of our preparation for the America’s Cup.”

With the joint recon program now finished for all teams, they are now allowed to undertake their own reconnaissance and as expected there was interest from a few of the challengers getting a first glimpse of Taihoro sailing in Barcelona.

Skipper Peter Burling was happy to have a relatively low-key reintroduction to sailing in Barcelona.

“It was quite a dynamic weather day today, so with that in mind and with new foils and some new kit we had a few things to tick off as you do on days like this. But today’s sail is just the beginning really.

But it is great to be here, you can get a sense of the interest increasing for the friendly locals of Barcelona, and certainly a sense of the pressure rising for all of the teams.

“It’s amazing to think that after three years of design, development, testing and hard work, we are now only just 50 days away from the start of racing. So, for everyone here at Emirates Team New Zealand the intensity really starts to ramp now we are back in Barcelona.” said Burling.



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