Team New Zealand today ramped up their testing and development programme for next year's America's Cup with the launch of a second test boat.

The modified AC45 catamaran launched today is not the same boat that will be sailed in Bermuda, but the innovations trialled on this boat will form the basis of the final design for the 50-ft race boat.

While today is a significant milestone for the Kiwi syndicate, they remain firmly in chase mode in the development race for the next America's Cup, with many of their rivals well-advanced in their two-boat testing programmes.

Here's what Team New Zealand's key rivals are up to:


Oracle Team USA

With a wealth of resource at their disposal, the Cup defenders have not surprisingly set the pace with their development. Oracle have been running a two-boat testing programme from their Bermuda base since October last year, using their second and third boats.

The rules do not allow them to build any more, but they can modify their existing boats as much as they want.

Artemis Racing

Artemis have been training in Bermuda since May last year, with the Swedish syndicate the first team to set up camp at the venue of the next America's Cup.

They also became the first of the challengers to start training with two prototypes when they launched the second of their test boats in February. Running a two-boat programme allows both for comparison in design, and for valuable match-racing training.

18 Jun, 2016 9:00am
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Land Rover BAR

The British challenge, headed by Ben Ainslie, appears to be incredibly well-resourced. BAR unveiled a third 'turbo' design, code-named "T3", in April following six months of trials in their earlier version.

T3 will sail from the team's base Portsmouth, with a full development and testing programme throughout the UK summer.

(L-R) SoftBank Team Japan, Groupama Team France, Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA. Photo / Getty Images
(L-R) SoftBank Team Japan, Groupama Team France, Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA. Photo / Getty Images

Softbank Team Japan

Dean Barker's Team Japan only joined the America's Cup race in April last year, but they have made up a lot of ground thanks to the assistance of Oracle. The defenders offloaded their first test boat to Team Japan, who have used the prototype to test out their own design ideas.

Being based in Bermuda also gives the team the chance to get in regular sailing with Oracle and Artemis, and rumour has it that Team Japan has the fastest boat of the three.

Groupama Team France

As the last syndicate to throw their hat into the ring for the 35th America's Cup, officially announcing a challenge in June last year, Team France were firmly behind the eight ball from the outset. They are now the only syndicate that hasn't launched a test boat and it looks like it will be a few more weeks yet before they are out on the water.

The launch was originally scheduled for last week, but has now been delayed until July. A statement on the team's website said the build is "taking a little longer than originally expected with a view to integrating the very latest developments in the best possible way".