Next America's Cup boats turn San Francisco giants into dinosaurs: Glenn Ashby
Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby believes the next generation of foiling catamarans will make the last America's Cup giants "look like dinosaurs".
Team New Zealand left the waters of Auckland's Waitemata Harbour on Thursday satisfied with their opening day of testing.
"It was an absolutely fantastic day. We got foiling upwind, downwind, did some manoeuvres and really way more than what we should have done for a first day." Ashby said.
READ MORE: Ashby: Team NZ on the pace
The Kiwis, with a 45-foot catamaran loaned from sidelined Italian syndicate Luna Rossa, have taken the initial steps of trialling equipment for the 50-foot foiling catamarans to be used in the next edition of the cup in Bermuda 2017.
It was only two years ago in San Francisco that the massive 72-foot catamarans proved to be a game-changer, turning heads with their power, manoeuvreability and sensational speed.
But Ashby has no doubt the smaller versions will have even more impact as the technology race ramps up in the leadup to the 35th cup.
"At the end of the day it's development and technology and I think the boats that we will see sailing at the next America's Cup will make the old AC72s look like old dinosaurs," Ashby said.
"These will be far more advanced electronically and technology-wise than we have ever seen before. It's pretty exciting for yachting."
Team New Zealand have just over a year before they launch their racing yacht for the cup.
They will bury themselves in testing in Auckland while the crew will also contest the America's Cup world series next year.
"You are effectively developing right up to the race day of the actual America's Cup itself, like last time," Ashby said, with the sharp end of the testing work involving the appendages.
"You work long and hard to make sure you have an advantage.
"There are a lot of things on this boat that haven't been seen before. There are a lot of things you can't see."
He said the current testing process was about finally getting the design work into the water.
"This boat is more about developing our yacht than our sailing team. This boat is about having the interaction between the designers and the engineers.
"The sailing team side of things, we will continue to concentrate on the AC45f which is the circuit boat, and hopefully continuing some great results there."
While cup holders Oracle are about to launch their third test boat, Team New Zealand are content with where they are at.
"We are controlling what we can with our team and ultimately you are racing yourself. We know where we need to be in 18 months time and we are working backwards from that.
"This test boat is nowhere aerodynamically advanced or clean as the other boats are. But performance-wise, it should be not too far off.
"They key to having a fast race boat is what's happening in the design office."