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Team New Zealand bosses believe the chances of their rivals being able to successfully replicate the Kiwi syndicate's radical "pedalstal" grinding innovation ahead of this year's America's Cup are remote.
Emirates Team New Zealand this afternoon officially launched their sleek new 50-ft race boat that they hope will propel them to reclaim the Auld Mug in Bermuda this year. The launch, held at Team NZ's homely Beaumont Street base in Auckland was more ceremonial than revealing.
The cat was let out of the bag, so to speak, when Team NZ took the boat out for a spin on the Waitemata earlier this week and eagle-eyed observers spotted the unconventional grinding set-up, in which the handles had been replaced by cycles.
The surprise innovation set the America's Cup world in a spin, and remained the key talking point at today's launch.
While the sight of a peloton on the water is a novelty for sailing fans, the Team NZ crew have had quite a lot of time to get used to the idea. Operations manager Kevin Shoebridge said the innovation has been nearly three years in the development.
The Kiwi syndicate deliberately kept the innovation under wraps and fit out their test boats with traditional grinding platforms in order to ensure their rivals, whose spies are ever-present in Auckland, were not given the opportunity to mimic Team NZ's set-up.