Team New Zealand are taking their giant America's Cup catamaran out of the water for 10 days to make modifications designed to increase its speed and performance.
The Kiwis are confident they have gone through the reliability phase and now want to take their testing to the next level.
Team new Zealand have got a jump on the opposition with Cup holders Oracle out of the water with their boat demolished in a capsize and Artemis still to get their on-water testing under way in San Francisco.
Team New Zealand's "partner" syndicate, Italy's Luna Rossa, have just launched their AC72 in Auckland and are going through their own reliability testing, hoping to get into some boat on boat testing with the Kiwis later this month.
By then they may find Team New Zealand in another league, given their impending modifications and growing understanding of how to sail the big boat.
"After 16 days on the water, we are comfortable with the boat and we can work on building speed by developing on-board systems and racing mechanics and giving the sailing crew time to develop communications and boat handling," said Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton.
"The design department has collated and analysed a massive amount of data every time the 72 has sailed and has come up with some changes that we expect will improve performance."
The AC72 will have a slightly different look to it once it emerges.
"Amongst the obvious changes are fairings which are designed to reduce windage and therefore drag will be installed on the back beam and elsewhere," Dalton said.
"We have not done this before because the fairings make access needed to tune various systems and visual checks of the structure more difficult
"Once we have completed the work, the team will back into on-the-water testing and spending time on sailing crew development."
- Fairfax Media
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