Team NZ christen second America's Cup boat Te Rehutai, plan to test sleek AC75 tomorrow

Team New Zealand have unveiled their second AC75 boat this afternoon, christening Te Rehutai in the first step of what they hope will be a successful America’s Cup campaign.

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The AC75 will be the boat the Kiwi sailors hope to defend the Auld Mug with. Source: 1 NEWS

Te Rehutai, which Team NZ translates as "where the essence of the ocean invigorates and energises our strength and determination", was christened by Lady Margaret Tindall before it was lowered into the Waitemata Harbour.

When looking at Te Rehutai from the front, it’s clear to see a significantly different hull shape to boat one, which Team NZ designer Dan Bernasconi told 1 NEWS is a balance between acceleration in the water and aerodynamics in the air.

“We've got this sort of concave shape which is quite different to the fuller shape of boat one in the bow,” Bernasconi said.

“And then we've got this really pronounced, what some teams are calling ‘bustle’, underneath.”

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Dan Bernasconi said the new additions will allow the team to make the most of being both in the water and the air. Source: 1 NEWS

The design had to be locked in over a year ago, with Team NZ only able to use early sailing data from Te Aihe before making the call.

Te Rehutai shares similarities with the British team while American Magic has chosen a hull more focused on aerodynamics.

Bernasconi said he isn’t surprised teams are all pushing the same boundaries.    

“We're working against some pretty smart people in other teams so it's no surprise that everyone's thinking along the same lines.”

When it comes to launch date, though, Team NZ is at least a month behind the others.

While the challengers have been training in their new boats, the Kiwi sailors have been getting cabin fever back at base.

With no obvious secret weapon this time around – like the “cyclors” used back in 2017 - the question being raised by some sailing commentators is: Has Team NZ done enough?

Bernasconi is certain with his answer though.

“We've got plenty more developments to come. We've seen in the last few cups that you can't rest on your laurels and just deliver a boat and put your feet up.

“It's the team that actually keeps developing all the way to the end that really has the advantage.”

Team NZ helsman Peter Burling told 1 NEWS after Te Rehutai was launched the team was excited to get the boat out and flying tomorrow.

"We've definitely focused in on some areas where we wanted to make some big gains and what you can see is a pretty aggressive design but the team's pretty happy," Burling said.

"It's our intention to get out there tomorrow and see how it goes."