A look back: first sail in the America's Cup venue

Emirates Team New Zealand prepare for their first day sailing in Bermuda
© Hamish Hooper

It was 1 year ago Emirates Team New Zealand’s eventual America’s Cup winning AC50 sailed for the first time on Bermuda’s Great Sound.

A highly anticipated day not only by the determined Emirates Team New Zealand team members but perhaps more-so the 5 other teams vying to win the America’s Cup.

It is always a memorable occasion in an America’s Cup cycle when Challengers sail in the venue for the next America’s Cup Match for the first time.

A short sail would set the tone of the next few weeks of intensity before racing began in the LV America’s Cup Challenger Selection Series.

 A look back from that day in April last year:

"It is just over three weeks since Emirates Team New Zealand was sailing in New Zealand, and today the team’s America’s Cup Class race boat was out sailing on Bermuda’s Great Sound for the first time under inquisitive gaze of an armada of competitors chase boats getting a first-hand glimpse of the Kiwi boat in what has inadvertently become one of the most anticipated events of this America’s Cup cycle.

Late in the day, an ideal 11- 13 knots on the tropical blue flat water, perfect sailing conditions that Bermuda has become renown for, the evening was more about a recommissioning of the systems and components to make sure everything was working properly before getting back into the mindset of pushing the development hard day after day.

The maiden sail in Bermuda came with an air of relief for skipper Glenn Ashby who has been like “a cat on a hot tin roof” waiting to get back out on the boat named New Zealand Aotearoa."


While all focus will be on Auckland harbour in 2021 for the 36th America’s Cup Match, it is the subsequent year and months when each of the teams AC75’s hit the Waitemata Harbour that will provide the real intrigue and interest to local followers and fans of the America’s Cup.