As America’s Cup challenger, American Magic, prepared for shipment from Florida to Europe for the America’s Cup World Series events in Italy and England, Team New Zealand was en route, eager to begin competition in the new AC75s, according to Sailing Scuttlebutt.
The British and Italian teams were already onsite for the first event in Cagliari, but when the coronavirus outbreak cancelled the European schedule, the USA team was able to abort departure, leaving the kiwis as a team without a boat.
Their only full-scale boat, Te Aihe, remains stuck at sea on a container ship, still heading to Europe. Once in port, it will now do an immediate turn around to Auckland but isn’t expected back at the team’s base until June.
That will mean five months without the boat after it was packed up at the start of February.
The kiwis appear most disadvantaged at the moment, although all teams have problems to work through amid the global health crisis and internal issues.
The British have had to abandon their Italian training base in Italy to relocate home. American Magic are in transition from their winter base in Florida back to Rhode Island, though they will surely be looking at an early departure to Auckland if and when travel restrictions lift.
Luna Rossa remain in Calgliari but have their boat being repaired after the bowsprit and a section of the bow itself were ripped off the hull in the second training disaster following their dismasting in late January.
There is also talk of the Luna Rossa management being severely overhauled as team principal Patrizio Bertelli deals with the economic fallout of the global health crisis to his Prada empire, according to Sailing Scuttlebutt.
Time is the commodity no money can buy in this expensive game and Team New Zealand are now forced to soldier on with the development of their second boat – the one to be used to defend the America’s Cup next March – coming via their smaller scaled test boat and the simulator.
While the challengers hold off their move to Auckland, which is approaching its winter season, the kiwi team will now buckle up for what they hope is enough fair weather days to benefit them.
The only World Series regatta is now set for December 17-20 in Auckland though the teams could add an additional one if they are wanting more racing in the new 75-foot foiling monohulls that haven’t been put up against each other yet.