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Team NZ Yacht Is Launched

Auckland City Council - City Scene

Lady Pippa Blake will christen and launch Team New Zealand's new yacht NZL57 for the defence of the America's Cup this Thursday September 9.

The ceremony, which the public are welcome to attend, will be held at the American Express New Zealand Cup Village, Viaduct Harbour.

Since the boat was delivered several weeks ago, the shore crew have been busy fitting deck gear, keel and rudder and giving it a final paint under tight security at the base. Following the launch, NZL57 will start tests and training on the harbour almost immediately.

Team New Zealand's second yacht, NZL60, which is believed to be of a different design, is due at the end of the month.

On October 15 there will be an opening ceremony and a parade down Queen Street to mark the start of the Louis Vuitton challenge and the America's Cup defence.

The official America's Cup Programme, to be published by America's Cup 2000, will be available in early November at the Cup Village and bookshops.

Launching a mini plastic yacht race at Viaduct Harbour for people to get in behind Team New Zealand are from left: Matt Mitchell (Team NZ), Trevor Pilkington, Regional general manager Westpac Trust, sponsor of the mini race and Hamish Peper (Team NZ).

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