The last boat built for this America’s Cup campaign will arrive via air express in Auckland this week. AmericaOne (USA-61) will be flown into New Zealand from California aboard a 747 on Monday afternoon.
Paul Cayard’s AmericaOne team is the last syndicate to take delivery of a boat. At a press conference on the eve of Round Robin Two of the Louis Vuitton Cup, Cayard was coy about when the boat would enter the competition.
‘We might use it in Round Robin Three,’ he said. ‘Having it here early definitely gives us some flexibility for two boat testing, and to race it before the Semi-Finals.’
The early arrival of USA-61 (the boat wasn’t originally expected until December) has also been a boon for Young Australia 2000. AmericaOne has finished with its charter of 1995 Cup boat oneAustralia. The Young Australia team has negotiated a charter with its Australian owner, and will now sail the boat in Round Robin Two.
The air express delivery is a first for Air New Zealand Cargo. It’s the first time in history an America’s Cup boat has been shipped on a 747, and USA-61 is the largest cargo in the history of Air New Zealand.
The AmericaOne team says the boat should be ready for sailing well before Round Robin Three.
– Peter Rusch