Shaun Ritson gets down to work on the Emirates Team New Zealand AC72.
The AC72 has broken more new ground. Even the measurers – who ensure that racing yachts are built to the class rule – had to modify procedures to accommodate the big cat.
In Auckland for a couple of days to run a ruler over Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC72, measurer Shaun Ritson says the problem was the size.
When he first saw an AC72 – unassembled in the builder’s yard – he remembers thinking it didn’t look that big.
But close up with the assembled platform in the Emirates Team New Zealand base for the first time he agrees the first impression was deceptive
“We had to come up with new ways of doing it,” He said, “and so far it’s working out pretty much as we expected.”
The AC72s are built to a box rule – dimensions that cannot be exceeded – no longer than 22m and no wider than 14m. The yachts have to fit in that “box”.
“We’re comfortable that the numbers we’re coming up with in Auckland are accurate but the lessons learned here may not apply to other builds because the platforms are different.”
With the Emirates Team New Zealand boat the only one regularly on the water Shaun Ritson still has to see one sailing. “It will be nice to see one sailing – I imagine it would be quite daunting.”