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Southern Spars Reinvents the Wheel


Cycling New Zealand partners with world-leading carbon fibre specialist, New Zealand’s Southern Spars.

In a classic tale of Kiwi ingenuity, New Zealand’s Southern Spars – best known for designing and manufacturing masts and rigging for the world’s fastest race yachts and most luxurious superyachts – will be providing wheels to the 2016 New Zealand track cyclists at Rio Olympics in August.

Southern Spars, which was founded in 1990, is a long-time supplier to Team New Zealand. It has a well-established reputation as the best in the world for designing and manufacturing carbon fibre spars and rigging using superior technology.

Southern Spars’ director Mark Hauser said: “The collaboration with Cycling New Zealand has been about taking that expertise and applying it in a different context – working together to create a significant performance benefit.

“We have drawn on our years of experience in the design and manufacture of carbon fibre technology and components. This has led to high performance in yachting, as well as specialist knowledge of windage, stiffness, and strength. In doing this, we have designed a new, superior wheel, which we’re delighted to be supplying to the New Zealand track cyclists.

“We are very excited by the potential of the new wheels, and by the possibilities unleashed by this kind of collaboration and innovation – which is all about bringing together the best of New Zealand.”

Cycling New Zealand Director of High Performance, Mark Elliott, said the partnership with Southern Spars has brought together two unique parties, to produce a great outcome for the New Zealand Olympic track cycling team.

“The partnership with Southern Spars has been a unique opportunity to work with a team with world-leading knowledge of carbon fibre technology, and the drive to take on a totally new challenge, by testing their skills and applying this knowledge to designing track wheels.

“From the outset, we’ve seen Southern Spars’ passion for testing its capability and applying knowledge in new ways, but importantly for us – and our athletes – a drive to contribute to New Zealand’s sporting success on the Olympic stage.

“We are delighted to be forming a partnership with Southern Spars, which we know will deliver an edge for us in Rio. This paves the way for further innovation to support our long-term performance objectives.”

The innovative new track wheels are the result of a three-way collaboration, bringing together Southern Spars’ engineering and carbon fibre production knowledge, Cycling New Zealand’s sport-specific knowledge and dedicated data technology support from High Performance Sport New Zealand.

New Zealand chef de mission, Rob Waddell, congratulated Southern Spars and Cycling New Zealand.

“To be the best in the world – to win Gold at the Olympic Games – requires us to bring everything we’ve got… to work together and leverage every ounce of know-how, technology and talent we can get our hands on. This kind of innovation is classic Kiwi can-do thinking.  It’s the best of New Zealand.”

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