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Emirates Team New Zealand and Southern Spars launching into the 35th America’s Cup

ac50 - southern spars masts

Built by Southern Spars, Emirates Team New Zealand’s newest America’s Cup yacht has been launched.

The Avondale-based mast builder demonstrated its standing as one of the world’s top carbon fibre manufacturers. Southern delivered Emirates Team NZ’s most technically advanced yacht ever, meeting the extremely strict budget, construction, weight and timing requirements.

AC50 Southern Spars

Kevin Shoebridge, chief of operations at Emirates Team NZ, says that their history with Southern Spars gave them every confidence that project would go smoothly.

“Southern Spars is always reliable at getting a top quality job done on time, which is hugely important for us. Spar building is a very precise and controlled process, components are built to very tight specifications and weights etc. so we were completely confident that what was designed and specified would be delivered.”

The yacht was built at Southern Spars’ headquarters – a 10,000 sq metre custom-built carbon fibre manufacturing plant. Inside, a team of 12 technicians spent nearly 30,000 hours, building the hulls, bow sections, hydrofoil cases and two highly complex 24-metre tall wing-sails. That is the equivalent of one person working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for three years.

America's Cup Southern SparsSouthern Spar’s founder, Mark Hauser, was thrilled for the company to take on the challenge of building one of the most technical racing yachts ever built in the world.

“Like Emirates Team NZ, this company and the people we employ thrive on challenges – that’s where we perform best,” says Hauser. “This project was perfect for our guys, many of whom are the most skilled carbon fibre manufacturers in the world. It gave them an opportunity to do something a bit outside our usual realms, and to step up and help this company prove once again our standing in the world of composites.”

The AC50, or America’s Cup Class Yacht, will sail in Auckland for the next few weeks before being transported to Bermuda. There, the team will push it to its limits, searching for every gram of performance in their quest to beat the world’s best sailors and bring the America’s Cup back to New Zealand.

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