After the media turmoil of the previous two weeks, 50 team members began work March 2, 2015 on Emirates Team New Zealand’s 2017 America’s Cup campaign. Australian Glenn Ashby leads the sailing team, with 24 year old Peter Burling named as the new helmsman. Former helmsman Dean Barker has said he is no longer part of the team.
The team will modify the AC45 shown in the photo above, adding the one design foiling package to be ready for racing in the America’s Cup World Series in Cagliari in the first week of June. Then they will begin work on a test boat, built from the AC45 they are acquiring from the defunct Team Australia. This puts them behind the other teams in the development cycle. Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing are already sailing highly modified AC45’s as test boats. Luna Rossa has been sailing two test boats built from standard AC45 platforms. They are making more modifications but have not yet been reported sailing the latest versions. Ben Ainslie Racing has a single foiling AC45 test boat and is rumored to be making big modifications, too. Remember that at this stage of the 34th America’s Cup, Team New Zealand was far ahead of all the other teams