• Kiwi Catamaran Features Innovative Hydraulic Pedal System

    If you are strong to the finish ‘cause you eats your spinach, you might consider throwing your hat in the bay for one of the three remaining crew positions for New Zealand’s entry into this year’s Americas Cup.

    Team New Zealand gave the official launch to the 50-foot catamaran it intends to enter for the race in May.

    The boat, christened New Zealand, features a somewhat radical innovation in the form of a pedal-powered hydraulic system that will replace the more traditional system of pedestals with hand-turned levers operated by grinders. No, the pedals do not connect to underwater propellers. That would be cheating.

    The new system was very much cloak-and-dagger-hush-hush over the past three years in order to prevent copying by other teams, but astute observers must have known something was up when they saw New Zealand sailors with bulging quadriceps muscles from the specialised trainer they were undergoing.

    The three spots open on the six-member crew will seek to supply the proper balance between sailing expertise and sheer brawn.

    The position of skipper is not open, sorry to disappoint, but will be filled by Glenn Ashby, who will reprise his role from the 2013 event, where he was the team’s wing trimmer. Steering will be handled by Peter Burling, while Blair Tuke, Burling’s partner for a gold medal from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, will do at least some of the pedaling.