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America's Cup base development picks up pace

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 8 Mar 2019 04:32 PST 9 March 2019
Wynyard Wharf requires considerable repair to be suitable for use - America's Cup Bases, Auckland, March 8, 2019 © Richard Gladwell

Work is well underway on several fronts with the development of America's Cup bases in Auckland.

Confirmation of final team numbers along with some redesign of features and facilities have moved the project to the point where it is expected to meet its budgeted costs and delivery deadlines. There are now over 600 people inducted with 150 working on the $212 million project.

As reported earlier, project re-estimates indicated a $100million cost blow-out, which with re-design was reduced by $70million with the balance of the shortfall being contributed by the NZ Government and Auckland Council.

Separate projects are underway despite the design work only being 70% complete, as of the end of February, and with some further resource consents required as a result of the redesign work, along with variations on some of the existing conditions.

Wynyard Point is the major area of activity, with the fuel and hazardous substance tanks removed and the former ASB carpark taken over, with the land becoming the actual area that will be occupied by the three double bases and two single bases.

Other tanks will be removed at a later date to create public space.

Renovation of the 100 year old Wynyard Wharf is a major piece of work, as it will be the area on which the team cranes will be located to launch the AC75's. Instead of the whole area between Brigham Street and the Wharf being infilled and turned into flat deck, a series of five bridges (one for each base) will be built across the gap. This is partially to satisfy heritage issues, and also to save money. The bridges will be removed after the America's Cup.

Another change will be the collection of race boat wash which will be collected and treated rather than being discharged into the harbour.

Some changes have been made to the breakwaters, and additional wave panels are being installed around the existing Hobson Wharf to reduce water movement mainly from passing boat wakes.

Two barges are now working in the area - with the latest arriving at the end of February. As of the end of February two rows of piles had been drilled at the end of Hobson Wharf where Luna Rossa will be housed. The full wharf extension will be completed on time in August.

Dredging has been undertaken in the channel existing Viaduct Harbour, after which the dredge moved to what is known as the J-class area in the Viaduct Harbour itself, in front of the cafes and bars. Clean dredgings are being dumped off Cuvier Island with any contaminated dredgings being taken to a land facility.

Emirates Team New Zealand moved into their base in the Viaduct Events Centre in October, and work started soon afterwards to convert it from an Exhibition centre to an AC75 base with other facilities. The most obvious change externally is the removal of a large section and replacement with two full height doors. The new base is now operational including a team clothing shop on the ground floor.

Updated site plans

Emirates Team New Zealand base - in March 2018 - during the Volvo OR stopover) and March 2019

Pile driving and dredging

DutchSail Visit to America's Cup base construction - February 2019

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