Experts Behind the Global Yachting Scene
“As the America’s Cup finals begin on 7 September on San Francisco Bay, the people of New Zealand will be watching most intently,” New Zealand Trade and Enterprise chair Andrew Ferrier writes for Forbes. “Not only is their boat challenging current champion Oracle Team USA, but the country’s ingenuity will be on display as New Zealand yacht builders, designers and suppliers.”
“New Zealand has a rich legacy in ship design and manufacturing going back more than a century, and made its America’s Cup debut in 1987 with a yacht dubbed the ‘Plastic Fantastic.’ Designed by Bruce Farr, the racing yacht KZ7 was constructed with light-weight, high-strength fibre-glass rather than traditional wood or aluminum. This new innovation helped us win 37 of 38 matches in the challenger rounds. Sir Peter Blake was also instrumental in helping New Zealand boat builders, sail makers and riggers compete on the world stage from the beginning.
“New Zealand’s marine industry now has a turnover of $1.7 billion and export earnings have risen from $25 million in 1988 to $642 million in 2012. The majority of exports are from superyacht building and refits, boating equipment design and manufacturing, and commercial vessels.”
Companies include, Southern Spars (pictured), who provided the carbon fibre spars and rigging for both Emirates Team New Zealand and the Italian Luna Rossa challenges; C-Quip, specialists in the design and manufacture of superyacht equipment; Rayglass, inflatable boat manufacturers; Animation Research Ltd (ARL), specialists in computer graphic design and production; and Kilwell Fibretube, experts in composite tubing design and manufacturing.