The New Zealand SailGP Team will be back in black later this month, with the team’s F50 ‘Amokura’ set to make the startline on Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbour (18-19 March). The update follows days of inspection, testing, refit and repair at SailGP Technologies in Warkworth.
The damaged F50 returned to Aotearoa, New Zealand following a lightning strike on the second and final day of the Singapore Sail Grand Prix.
Since, the boat has been given the ‘green light’ by technicians following structural load testing - an operation in which the F50 platform is loaded to simulate stresses experienced while sailing - as well as extensive visual inspections, ultrasound testing, and electronic tap testing of all parts. The boat has also undergone a full electronic and hydraulic refit to replace componentry damaged due to electrical surge.
For the team at SailGP Technologies, it’s been all hands on deck, with designers, engineers and boat builders and the tech team alike chipping in to get Amokura race ready for SailGP’s long-awaited New Zealand debut. Amokura departs Auckland by train tonight, packed into containers to make the trip to Lyttelton. There, the SailGP Tech Team will finalise the fitout and ensure all systems are working properly in advance of race weekend.
Brad Marsh, SailGP Tech Team Director said: “Having tested all the main components of the F50, we are very proud to say [Amokura] is a-okay.
“Following the three-hour structural testing process, we’ve been able to shift our focus from uncovering what’s wrong with the boat, to putting her back together to complete the electronic and hydraulic fit out and get Amokura back in action and ready to go sailing at the Christchurch event.”
Late last week, it was confirmed that the ITM New New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch would proceed as planned on 18 -19 March, with at least eight boats on the startline and best efforts to secure all nine.
For New Zealand SailGP Team Wing Trimmer Blair Tuke, receiving the final bill of health has been an exciting milestone on the road to Lyttelton.
“It’s super exciting for us to know we will be back on Amokura for our first home event. There was a massive effort by many to get the boat we used in Sydney ready to race, but to have Amokura, the F50 we’ve sailed on throughout our journey with SailGP, is something the whole team is looking forward to,” Tuke said.