How fast can TNZ re­ally go?

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - STAFF RE­PORTER

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.

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