As progress continues on their AC50, senior sailing team members from Emirates Team New Zealand visited Southern Spars’ facility last week to check on the yacht which they hope will help them bring home the America’s Cup.
Southern Spars have long been Emirates Team New Zealand’s go-to manufacturer for masts and wing-sails, but for the 35th America’s Cup, the association has grown to include the whole yacht – with the exception of the foils and cross beams.
Inside Southern Spars’ massive new carbon-fibre manufacturing plant in Avondale, which has produced wing sails for Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa and masts for many Volvo and America’s Cup teams, technical advisor Max Sirena and helmsman Peter Burling inspected the AC50 for the first time.
Max Sirena was pleased to see that Southern is putting as much into preparing the package – that includes hulls, bows, wing-sails and platform – as the sailing team is preparing to race it.
“It was fantastic to check in on the progress out at Southern Spars,” says Sirena. “It is an impressive facility out there, and you can see the quality of workmanship going into making what we hope will be the boat to win back the America’s Cup.”
For Burling, who will be competing in his first America’s Cup, it was an exciting moment to finally see parts of the yacht that he will steer around the course in Bermuda.
“The yacht is really coming along,” he says. “As the boat takes shape, everything gets a bit more real. In terms of the event, it is fast approaching. We can’t wait to get this thing out on the water.”
Sirena has a long professional relationship with the company from his previous role leading Luna Rossa Challenge. He worked closely with Southern who built two AC72 wing-sails for his America’s Cup 34 challenge.
Southern Spars is very proud to be playing such a major role in Emirates Team New Zealand’s campaign to bring the America’s Cup home to New Zealand.