Team New Zealand launch new catamaran

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 22:04 21/07/2012
Team New Zealand

Team New Zealand's America's Cup yacht is christened 'New Zealand' at ceremony on Auckland's Viaduct Basin.

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Team New Zealand brought a national feel to their America's Cup campaign by naming their giant new catamaran 'New Zealand' at a christening ceremony in Auckland.

A large crowd gathered in the Viaduct Basin for the occasion and dignitaries included Prime Minster John Key.

The government has provided $34m in funding as TNZ look to regain the cup in San Francisco next year.

The 72-foot catamaran was launched with skipper Dean Barker's wife Mandy splashing it with champagne.

Simultaneously, fireworks lit the sky as 18 months of work by the design and build teams were revealed for all to see.

TNZ managing director Grant Dalton said the night could not have happened with the support of the government and sponsors who backed the team with such enthusiasm.

"New Zealanders should be proud that their team attracts the support of these major international companies," Dalton said.

"The same can be said for the international designers, engineers and analysts who augmented our design team.

"We are proud of what we have achieved so far, working in a tin shed in Auckland.

"We carry the New Zealand flag sponsors' brands proudly and pledge that the mission of every member of this team is to bring the America's Cup back to New Zealand."

TNZ will begin testing the catamaran in Auckland this week. They are only allowed 30 days on the water before January 31 under cup rules.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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