Team NZ launches its first 2021 America’s Cup boat

Team New Zealand has christened the first of its boats which will defend the 2021 America’s Cup.

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Te Aihe was unveiled in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour today. Source: 1 NEWS

Te Aihe, meaning dolphin, was officially unveiled at a ceremony in Auckland’s Viaduct harbour this morning.

The new AC75 is 23m long and 26.5m from top of the mast to the deck.

The foiling monohull weighs 6.5 tonnes and will carry 11 crew.

Team New Zealand say it will be faster than its predecessor - the AC50 catamaran called Aotearoa. 

Hundreds of people, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, attended the unveiling.

Marcus Gerbich, a representative from the team's charity, Motor Neurone Disease Association of NZ, christened the boat by breaking a bottle of champagne on the bow. It was blessed by Ngati Whatua.

It has taken a group of about 65 people more than 100,000 man-hours to design and build the boat. 

A Luna Rossa spy grabbed a few snaps of the new boat design yesterday as it sat by the dock ahead of today's ceremony.