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Team NZ launch fastest boat yet

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/06/2016

Team New Zealand are expecting some prying eyes to be trained on them when they go sailing in Auckland in the coming days.

The syndicate have launched their first custom-designed development boat as they continue preparations for the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda.

The 45-foot catamaran, the syndicate's fastest yacht yet and the most complicated it has built, took six months to construct.

Skipper and sailing team director Glenn Ashby says the crew have been putting in long hours in the gym waiting for this moment.

He says they're chomping at the bit to get the boat out on the water in a week or so.

"We expect the arrival of some inquisitive competitors with cameras and long lenses to begin showing up in the next few days subsequent to this launch," he said on Tuesday.

"We think the focus will now shift from Bermuda to Auckland for a while."

Team NZ aims to use the boat for determining key decisions when it comes to their actual America's Cup race yacht, which will be launched in early 2017.

Team NZ chief executive Grant Dalton said onlookers won't be able to miss the development boat when it's out on the water.

He said the speeds it would achieve would be a huge step up from the bigger catamarans used for the last America's Cup in 2013.

"I'm sure some of the speeds which we estimate it will be reaching will be nothing short of astonishing for people to see," he said.

"This boat makes the AC72 from San Francisco look like a dinosaur."

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