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Setting sail for glory

Toyota NZ wishes America’s Cup team well as boat for Barcelona defence launched.
Posted on 24 April, 2024
Setting sail for glory

Emirates Team New Zealand has been joined by representatives of Toyota NZ for the launch of the boat that will compete in the 37th America’s Cup.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei gifted and blessed the name “Taihoro” on the vessel that Emirates Team NZ will sail in its defence of the cup at the launch at the team’s base in Auckland’s Wynyard Point this week.

Its name was inspired from Taihoro-Nukurangi, and translates “to move swiftly as the sea between both sky and earth”. 

The boat was christened by former prime minister Helen Clark, who is Emirates Team NZ patron. 

Neeraj Lala, chief executive of Toyota NZ, who attended the event, says: “As Emirates Team New Zealand prepares to compete in Barcelona, we stand behind them knowing they carry not just our brand, but the support of New Zealanders nationwide.

“We wish the team every success as they strive to retain the cup, marking a milestone of over 30 years’ partnership with Toyota New Zealand. 

“We’re excited to continue our collaboration with Emirates Team NZ for the 37th America’s Cup. This relationship underscores our shared commitment to innovation and sustainability, exemplified by our joint efforts in developing hydrogen-powered chase boats.”

Geoff Senior, Emirates Team NZ’s head of construction, has overseen the vessel’s build. It started more than 10 months ago in a purpose-built yard with 45 boat builders working throughout, totalling around 85,000 hours to complete.

The Taihoro was transported weeks ago to the team’s base under the cover of darkness. It has since been subject to a fit-out by technical hydraulic, mechatronic, electronic and shore crew teams.