Black Magic heads home
WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- New Zealand's America's Cup winning boat, Black Magic, is heading home after a year in France.
NZL32 was the first New Zealand yacht to win the America's Cup -- in 1995 in San Diego.
It has spent a year with 2003 challenger Le Defi Areva in France as they prepare for the Louis Vuitton Cup, beginning on October 1, 2002.
NZL32 is due to arrive in Auckland at the end of August, Team New Zealand said on its official web site. NZL32 will be displayed in Auckland during the America's Cup regatta, and then housed in the Museum of New Zealand, Wellington.
Le Defi Areva have been using NZL32 as a training partner for their 2000-generation cup yacht FRA-49 while they designed new boats.
Le Defi Areva technical director Luc Gellusseau said "a fair number of technical difficulties" had been discovered since their boat FRA-69 was launched.
"Over the last fortnight FRA-69 has been showing us what a fine boat she is," he said. "We can feel her enormous potential and she improves each new day."
FRA-69 was damaged at its launch. Environmental activists from Greenpeace protested at the launch as the syndicate is sponsored by nuclear energy company Areva.
Before the Le Defi Areva boats are shipped to Auckland, FRA-79 will briefly sail against FRA-69 in Lorient.
FRA-79 has a new hull and deck, made from FRA-69's moulds, but the mast, boom, poles, sails and deck hardware are from the old FRA-49, which reached the semifinals of the 1999 Louis Vuitton Cup in Auckland.
The second boat has been built as a training partner for the race boat FRA-69, and for development work for future Le Defi Areva campaigns.
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