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Emirates Team New Zealand returns to Southern Spars as it eyes up land speed record.

by Tilley van Eeden 26 Mar 18:01 NZDT
Southern Spars have renewed long relationship with Emirates Team New Zealand for the Wind Powered Land Speed Record project © ETNZ Media

Emirates Team New Zealand has returned to partner with world-leading composite specialists, Southern Spars NZ, in an attempt to beat the wind-powered land speed record.

“Emirates Team New Zealand approached us and asked if we would come on board to build the wing on the land yacht. This is a huge credit to our team, their experience and expertise. It’s a really interesting project for us to get our teeth into - we jumped at the chance to be involved,” says Mark Hauser, Southern Spars Co-Founder.

With a long history as the go-to partner for Emirates Team New Zealand, Southern Spars has built a reputation as being the best in the world at designing and manufacturing carbon fibre spars and rigging. After being in business for over thirty years, the company thrives on making the seemingly impossible, possible. “We are motivated to constantly push the boundaries of what can be done – this time it’s about helping Emirates Team New Zealand exceed the current World Record of 202.9km/h in their land speed record attempt.”

Whether it be masts and rigging propelling the world’s fastest race yachts to victory in the America’s Cup; fitting out the most luxurious superyachts; creating wheels for the New Zealand Olympic Track Cycling Team; or now pioneering a hopefully record-breaking land yacht - it’s the same discipline, drive and determination applied to the end result that continues to set SSNZ apart.

Long-time Emirates Team New Zealand member Glenn Ashby, who will be in the driving seat, says the record attempt is fulfilling a boyhood dream and that he needed to have absolute confidence in the team involved: “To beat a world record you need to work with the best in the world. I’ve never once heard Southern Spars say we can’t do that - it’s always let’s make it happen.” What looks to the untrained eye as a simple, stream-lined vehicle belies the intricate Southern Spars technology sitting underneath and plays a key role in driving the team to victory.

“I think that speaks well to the kiwi mentality – unassuming on the outside but packed with the best the world has to offer on the inside,” says Ashby.

With production already under way at Southern Spars headquarters in Avondale, the team is on track for completion in the next 3 - 4 weeks. The different components of the land yacht will then be brought together and shipped to Australia for the record attempt which will likely take place in August on one of Australia’s vast salt lakes. At present, the wind-powered land speed record stands at 202.9km/h – set in 2009 by Richard Jenkins onboard his ‘Greenbird’ in the USA.

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