How fast can TNZ really go?
Team New Zealand has had a champagne start to the America’s Cup but back home the nation is nervously waiting to see what Oracle Team USA has up their sleeve.
We all know its coming. This is the America’s Cup and if there is a loophole to exploit, you can bet the defenders will be doing everything in their power to find it.
The Christchurch Press recently published a cartoon depicting Oracle turning up to the next race in a warship as a result of some sinister rule change, which as much as it was a joke, we wouldn’t put past them.
But Jimmy Spithill and his crew will need to come up with much more than that if they are to stop the trophy from heading back to New Zealand.
In an effort to highlight the breathtaking speed of Team New Zealand’s AC50 catamaran, which has hit speeds of up to 74kmh, Stuff has conducted a completely unscientific study comparing Aotearoa to various other vessels.
And short of cruising up to the startbox in the Shotover Jet (Oracle are known to use Kiwi boatbuilders), Spithill’s got no chance.
Reaching speeds of 56kmh, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, the nuclear-powered warship used by the US Navy, would have better luck taking out the Kiwis with one of its many missile launchers on board. Although, we are pretty sure that is not permitted in the Deed of Gift.
With a top speed of 37kmh, the Interisland ferry is not a fair comparison. Still, Aotearoa would be halfway through its return voyage by the time the New Zealand institution had taken its passengers from Wellington to Picton.
And why stop at boats when Team NZ can more than hold its own with most sea life.
The shortfin mako is regarded as the fastest shark on the planet but clocking the speed gun at 74kmh, it would still struggle to beat the Kiwis. And they would blitz the blue whale, which swims at the relatively snail pace of 50kmh.
However, Peter Burling and co are still some way off the black marlin, which with speeds of 129kmh is one of the fastest fish species in the ocean.
Team New Zealand take on Oracle for races five and six of the America’s Cup at 5am on Sunday morning.
Team New Zealand is leading 3-0 in the first to 7 series.