High-tech rac­ers put to test

Whangarei Report - - SPORT -

North­land's world-class marine in­dus­try has been given a boost with some of the most ad­vanced foil­ing cata­ma­rans in the world to be tested in wa­ters off Bream Bay.

Those in­volved in the de­vel­op­ing the su­per-charged cata­ma­rans, which are ca­pa­ble of zip­ping across the tops of waves at 53 knots (98km/h) say the test­ing phase based in North­land could be­come an an­nual oc­cur­rence.

Kiwi Rus­sell Coutts and Amer­i­can soft­ware ty­coon Larry El­li­son are be­hind the Sailgp global rac­ing league. Their new­class wing­sailed F50 cata­ma­rans would go through sea tri­als off Ruakaka start­ing this month. Wark­worth-based Core Builders Com­pos­ites has es­tab­lished a tech­ni­cal and de­vel­op­ment hub on a hard­stand com­pound at Mars­den Cove Ma­rina as part of its work to build the cata­ma­rans which are to be used in the global Sailgp com­pet­i­tive yacht­ing se­ries in Syd­ney next year.

Over the next three months Sailgp will take ad­van­tage of lo­cal re­sources and ex­perts to con­duct test­ing and en­sure the F50s are race-ready by Fe­bru­ary.

Teams from the United States, Aus­tralia, Great Bri­tain, France, Ja­pan and China will com­pete start­ing in 2019.

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