23 Jul 2012

Team NZ challenge brings big dollars to local firms

3:19 pm on 23 July 2012

The launch of Team New Zealand's America's Cup catamaran is the first tangible sign of millions of dollars of cup business flowing into local industry.

The high-tech catamaran, the first of two the team will build, was launched in Auckland on Saturday.

The craft is entirely built in New Zealand by two leading firms, supported by dozens of smaller suppliers.

Support sections and wings for two similar Italian Cup boats will also be built in Auckland.

In West Auckland, mast and now wing-maker Southern Spars employs 200 people in a sprawling 18-month-old factory.

Past America's Cups fuelled the firm's international reputation and it now has 60% of the world mast and spar market.

Group managing director Richard Lott says 40% of the year's work for the company is connected with the America's Cup.

Construction of Team New Zealand's second catamaran will begin soon.