A truly wonderful tribute to the “my dick is bigger than yours” politics of corporate yacht racing, KZ7 was the yacht which brought the America’s Cup and all its consumer splendours to Auckland Harbour, New Zealand.
Team New Zealand and KZ7 was the challenge put forth by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) and bankrolled by Michael Fay and Fay-Richwhite for the America's cup in 1995.
Fay had been trying to win the cup since 1988 when he presented a challenge to the San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC). The SDYC’s lawyers got rough and the challenge was a farce with Fay’s big boat being walked over by the catamaran presented by the Americans.
Team New Zealand’s contender for the America's cup in 1995 was a boat conforming to the 12 metre standard for match racing which was the boat standard that had been raced in the cup since 1958.
The boat was designed by Bruce Farr and constructed from honeycombed carbon fibre and epoxy resin, this combined with some innovative yacht design made the boat so light and fast that it was able to win the Luis Vuitton Cup series in an intimidating 42-1 set of victories.
The boat and team then went on to win the America’s Cup off the SDYC and bring it to New Zealand where it currently lives.
Because of the strength of the boat the SDYC felt the need to drill holes in the boat to ensure that no cheating was taking place. Naturally the RNZYS objected to this and again the lawyers got fat until the SDYC won its case and took some core samples.
This was strictly a diversionary action and an attempt to demoralise the RNZYS and Fay, which was totally in keeping with the posturing that surrounds The Cup.
KZ7 is just a boat registration number so current New Zealand defenders for the cup also use the name.