Emirates Team New Zealand is ratcheting up its AC72 sailing programme, moving on from primarily conducting reliability and system testing to a focus on racing and speed development.
The yacht will go into the shed for 10 days for, amongst other things, modifications that are designed to extract greater performance from the boat.
Grant Dalton says: “After 16 days on the water, we are comfortable with the boat and we can work on building speed by developing on-board systems and racing mechanics and giving the sailing crew time to develop communications and boat handling.
“The design department has collated and analysed a massive amount of data every time the 72 has sailed and has come up with some changes that we expect will improve performance.
“Amongst the obvious changes are fairings which are designed to reduce windage and therefore drag will be installed on the back beam and elsewhere. We have not done this before because the fairings make access needed to tune various systems and visual checks of the structure more difficult
“Once we have completed the work, the team will back into on-the-water testing and spending time on sailing crew development.”