Not everyone gets to touch the America’s Cup — but the lucky team at North Sails’ Auckland loft recently had the privilege when a group from Emirates Team New Zealand, including the Cup’s own personal ‘bodyguard’, brought the silverware to the Glenfield loft, where the staff were able to hold and be photographed with it.
The visit was a thank you from Emirates Team New Zealand, to welcome North Sails aboard on their journey toward the 2021 America’s Cup. North Sails is the international supplier of choice for not only Team New Zealand, but also the Luna Rossa Challenge, Stars & Stripes Team USA and INEOS Team UK.
Blanks for the new sails will be made at North Sails three-dimensional moulding loft in Minden, Nevada, and finished and detailed to Team New Zealand’s specifications in Auckland. The North Sails Auckland team will work closely with Rob Salthouse from Emirates Team New Zealand, himself a former sailmaker with years of experience in Cup competition.
The Cup made its trip over the Auckland Harbour Bridge in a 3Di fabric case specially designed and built by North Sails for its journey to London jewellers House of Garrard for a check-up last year.
The 2021 event is seeing a return to the use of more ‘traditional’ sails than the hard wingsails used in Bermuda and San Francisco, but the new America’s Cup 75 foiling monohulls will still break new ground with their innovative ‘softwing’ double-skinned mainsails.
Long-time North Sails designer Burns Fallow, who is currently embedded with Emirates Team New Zealand, was a key member of the team developing the AC 75 class rule and was instrumental in developing the new softwing system.