A game of technology that arguably draws more man power and IT expertise than any other sport in the world, it’s hard to believe nearly four years have passed since the fateful 34th America’s Cup drew our nation to its knees. So yesterday, a tangible sense of tenacity hung in the air as we witnessed Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton, surrounded by his 90-strong crew along with supporters and sponsors including Nespresso, speak about the “extra 100 metres” being the symbolic winning edge that will carry our beloved boat across the line to victory in Bermuda this year.
Referring to the heart breakingly-close loss in San Francisco in 2013, and clearly spurred on by the familiar feeling of being the competition’s underdog in what is otherwise known as a billionaire’s race, it was an emotional moment with the blessings of Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei, the auspicious smashing of the magnum on the hull, and the well wishes of the crowd that we witnessed the incredible new 15 metre (50ft) catamaran – our most advanced design yet – being launched on our Waitemata harbour.
The 2017 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and Challenger Playoffs commence on May 27th. The winner will go on to challenge defenders Oracle Team USA from June 18th to 19th, and June 25th to 28th.