The America's Cup World Series has lived up to its billing of fast racing, spills and enough accidents to keep its boatbuilders busy.
All AC45 boats were built at Warkworth's Core Builders Composites and build manager Tim Smyth is delighted with the way they have performed.
The series has just finished its second leg in Plymouth, England, and will resume in San Diego in November.
Team New Zealand leads the series with Oracle teams in second and third place.
Mr Smyth points out comments in German news magazine Spiegel describing the racing as "a new era in competitive sailing and a breakthrough in presenting sailing to the world".
He says: "There's a bit of carnage over there too, which is what people like to see. One boat t-boned another and there was a spectacular catapult where one boat literally rotated head over heels right over the mast and slammed into the water.
"So it's produced a lot of damage, which is good business for us, I suppose. We have to build more parts."
Mr Smyth says Core Builders built 15 wings and 13 boats for the series.
He says the boats have proven themselves in different wind conditions and the racing has been exciting. But because it is such a new format, team strategies are just becoming apparent.
The AC45s are a precursor to the larger AC72s which will be used in the America's Cup itself in 2013.
Mr Smyth says construction has already begun on those, but although some of the boat can be built in Warkworth, America's Cup rules do not allow them to build the hull shells.
So Warkworth-based staff will be making frequent trips to San Francisco for up to a month at a time.
"It's very much a New Zealand product being sold to an American company and we do commissioning work on it."
Core Builders is associated with America's Oracle Racing, however it has produced identical AC45 boats for all teams. Mr Smyth says that was necessary for the series to proceed.
However, with the AC72s there were just guidelines, so individual teams could work within those to try and gain an advantage.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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