“We were fortunate to be on site for the invitation-only launching of Te Aihe, the Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC75”, enthused Duthie Lidgard and his team from Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand.
Team New Zealand christened their new America’s Cup yacht “Te Aihe” – Maori for dolphin – at the official launch in Auckland on Friday, Stuff New Zealand reported as follows.
The team explained the boat’s name was based on the Maori proverb: “Mā te Aihe e tuitui ai i te ngaru moana, mā te Rangatira e tuitui ai i te tangata” (“As the dolphin sows through the seas so does a leader sew people together”).
A large gathering of sponsors, suppliers, team members and their families, politicians, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, along with the general public attended the ceremony outside the Emirates Team New Zealand base in the Viaduct Basin.
Team New Zealand’s boat was lowered into the water at the Auckland Viaduct Basin at the launch on Friday.
It was the first AC75 launched by any of the five teams that will be involved at Auckland 2021. Challengers Luna Rossa of Italy, INEOS Team UK, American Magic and Stars + Stripes Team USA will sail against each other with the winner going on to race Team New Zealand for the Auld Mug.