Please select your home edition
Edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW LEADERBOARD

America's Cup: Team NZ to DIY build their boats for the first time

by Suzanne McFadden, Newsroom.co.nz 31 May 2018 14:34 PDT 1 June 2018
Sean Regan headed the shore team in Bermuda for Emirates Team NZ and will lead the AC75 build projects for the 2021 America's Cup © Richard Gladwell

For the first time in the syndicate's history, Emirates Team New Zealand will build their own America's Cup yachts.

The Cup defenders have decided to build the hulls of their two AC75 foiling monohulls in-house for the 2021 Cup regatta on the Hauraki Gulf, after more than two decades of having their race yachts constructed at Auckland boatyards.

Team NZ's chief operating officer, Kevin Shoebridge, says the decision to have their own building facility was about "having control over what we do".

"We push things to the limit. We're often late. We want to try different stuff," he says.

"We just believe that having in-house control over the build will give us the ability to do a really nice job.

"And it will also give us the manpower that if we want to do something quickly, we don't have to wait for a commercial yard to fit us in. We can change the plan overnight and just do it. It's hard doing that in a commercial yard."

Team NZ are in the process of finding a yard on Auckland's North Shore to build their boats.

In 1995, the victorious Black Magic sisters were built at McMullen and Wing in Mt Wellington. Between 2000 and 2013, all eight of Team NZ's boats came out of the Cookson Boats yard in Glenfield.

Last year's winning AC50, Aotearoa New Zealand, was borne out of the huge Southern Spars facility in Avondale. It was the first time the world-renowned spar-makers had constructed a boat - a job that took more than 30,000 man hours.

The Cookson team also worked on the last boat, but since then, the once-thriving yard run by the Cookson family has closed its doors. For years, managing director Mick Cookson said the work with Team NZ kept them in business.

"We had a great relationship with Mick Cookson," Shoebridge says. "But with him not being there, it's hard to find that [relationship] again."

A number of key people from Cookson Boats have now been employed by Team NZ for their 25-strong boatbuilding team. Among them is Geoff Senior, who's taken on the role of Team NZ's construction manager.

"These guys have been part of our team before. When the heat came on in Bermuda in the last two months, and we needed people urgently, they flew over and helped us," says Shoebridge. "They definitely have the know-how and the smarts to do the job well."

Team NZ also want to give an opportunity to some young people without boatbuilding experience, and train them in the field.

That team of 25 boatbuilders will be in addition to the 95 people Team NZ will employ to work out of their new base in the Viaduct Events Centre. Team NZ will begin moving in this September.

Sean Regan, who made headlines as Team NZ's shore crew co-ordinator overseeing repairs to Aotearoa after it pitch-poled in Bermuda, will run the boatbuilding programme.

Team NZ have always prided themselves on boosting the local marine sector during their America's Cup campaigns. Shoebridge says that won't change in the lead up to 2021, with the team still "leaning heavily" on the New Zealand boating industry for many of the boats' components.

"A lot of the companies we used last time we will use again," he says.

For the rest of this story click here

Related Articles

America's Cup: Spectacular Images of Te Aihe
Te Aihe made a spectacular sight in the late afternoon sun. Sailing in a fresh offshore breeze Te Aihe made a spectacular sight in the late afternoon sun. Posted today at 2:11 am
Gladwell's Line: We've seen this Cup movie before
Long history of the Government of the day and the America's Cup team having their 'moments' Quite what is behind all the current commentary and the audit is a little hard to fathom. But there is a long history of the Government of the day and the America's Cup team having at least one stand-off during an America's Cup cycle. Posted on 10 Jul
America's Cup: Arb Panel resolves TV issues
Arb Panel Chairman mediates Host Broadcast issues between Challenger and Defender A Mediation, by the America's Cup Arbitration Panel Chairman, has been successfully concluded between the teams representing Luna Rossa, the team of the Italian Challenger of Record and the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand. Posted on 8 Jul
America's Cup Rialto: Around the bases and more
A quick look at the British and US bases under construction, plus a quick chat with Blait Tuke For the past week the America's Cup has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, but there's still plenty going on ashore with the British and US bases under construction. Plus a chat with Blair Tuke. Posted on 7 Jul
America's Cup: Wednesday workout on the Waitemata
Here's some more shots from ETNZ's Te Aihe last Wednesday as they gave the AC75 a workout Here's some more shots from Wednesday as they gave the AC75 a good working over, on America's Cup Course C - between North Head and Bastion Point, while the lawyers locked horns ashore. Posted on 7 Jul
America's Cup: Dalton explains need for injunction
Team New Zealand and America's Cup Event CEO, Grant Dalton on need for injunction Team New Zealand and America's Cup Event CEO, Grant Dalton has issued a statement explaining the Sailing team and Event organisation's rationale for obtaining a High Court injunction blocking publication of a confidential draft report on AC36 Hosting Posted on 3 Jul
America's Cup: Te Aihe's returns to the Waitemata
On Wednesday, Emirates Team New Zealand had a long five hour session mostly sailing on America's Cup On Wednesday, Emirates Team NZ had a long five hour session mostly sailing on America's Cup Course C. They were sailing in mid-Winter - one can only guess as to the wind chill factor in the AC75 foiling at 30-35kts. Posted on 3 Jul
America's Cup Event body obtains Court injunction
America's Cup Event Ltd obtains High Court injunction on confidential report publication America's Cup Event Ltd and Team New Zealand Ltd have obtained an injunction in the High Court in Auckland restraining media from publishing the contents of a confidential draft report on the $40m Event Fee expenditure Posted on 2 Jul
America's Cup: Team New Zealand hits the headlines
Early Wednesday afternoon Team New Zealand issued a lengthy statement over a leaked letter Emirates Team NZ has issued a statement in response to claims in a leaked confidential letter from the CEO's of Auckland Council and MBIE, published on the front page of the Wednesday morning edition of NZ Herald. Posted on 1 Jul
America's Cup: Kiwis and Americans hit the water
The 36th America's Cup entered a new phase today with the launching of New York Yacht Club's AC75 The 36th America's Cup entered a new phase today with the launching of New York Yacht Club's AC75 this morning from the BBC Destiny. Out on the Hauraki Gulf, Emirates Team NZ's AC75, Te Aihe went sailing for the first time in more than four months Posted on 30 Jun
North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - FooterHenri-Lloyd 2020 FOOTERMelges 14 2019 Footer