The brand new AC9F Youth America’s Cup yacht has successfully undergone on-water sail testing day in Auckland with the event well on track for 2021. With two female and two male crew on board, the boat was up on the foils straight away, and was pushing speeds of up to thirty knots.
This first AC9F has been designed and built in New Zealand in a collaboration between Yachting Developments and the NZ Marine Industry, including Southern Spars, Harken, and North Sails. The purposely designed AC9F is a scaled down 9-meter version of the foiling AC75 monohull.
“It was great to see the boat sailing and working well, we are thrilled with how it performed,” said Yachting Developments owner Ian Cook. “It has been a big combined effort from the NZ Marine Industry to make this happen, and to see it flying on the foils at speed today was a massive result for everyone involved.”
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has received seventeen confirmed entries with fifteen of these teams’ internationals. With more in the pipeline, the goal of twenty teams is looking likely.
Collectively the teams are set to bring in over two-hundred-and-fifty people to New Zealand, all of whom will be staying in the country for several months.
“This event is going to be huge for New Zealand and we can’t wait to see all the teams here and getting stuck in,” said Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron CEO Hayden Porter. “A huge amount of hard work has gone on behind the scenes gathering entries and getting the first boat ready to go.
“This event is set to have a very important impact on the New Zealand economy, and will bring in the equivalent of two America’s Cup teams worth of people into the country for a long period of time. It will generate tens of millions of dollars for New Zealand. Teams will soon begin the immigration process and are willing to quarantine at their expense to ensure they can compete as required.”
Gender diversity is one of the main draw cards and motivations for this reinvigorated Youth America’s Cup, with all teams required to include two male and two female crew members.
Yachting Developments’ and Ocean Race sailor Bianca Cook was on board for the testing and is really excited by the gender diversity rule for this event. “I think to have this rule in place can only be a positive for the sport of sailing, and paves the way for female sailors to be involved in major sailing events such as the America’s Cup.”
The Youth America’s Cup will take place over a three week period in the off sailing days of the Prada Cup Challenger Series finals and America’s Cup Match. The schedule for racing in 2021 is on February 18-23, March 1-5, and March 8-12.
Teams are set to begin arriving later in 2020 for training preparations.
Published on June 25th, 2020