Team New Zealand designer Nick Holroyd quits

Chief designer Nick  Holroyd has ended his long association with Team New Zealand.
Fairfax NZ

Chief designer Nick Holroyd has ended his long association with Team New Zealand.

Team New Zealand continue to lurch from one crisis to the next with chief designer Nick Holroyd departing the America's Cup syndicate.

Holroyd was the key figure in the Kiwis leading the foiling technology race in the giant catamarans at the last regatta and was crucial to Team New Zealand's design plans as they work with the late changes initiated for the next challenge, Bermuda 2017.

The flying catamarans were initially reduced to 62-foot versions and then controversially made smaller again, with 48-foot versions now in place for the next America's Cup.

Holroyd's intellectual property was valuable and a rival syndicate may be keen to lure him.

Grinders Winston Macfarlane and Derek Saward have also left Team New Zealand.

Smaller numbers are required in sailing crews now with the smaller boats.

The latest departures come hot on the heels of board chairman Keith Turner quitting. That followed the messy departure of skipper Dean Barker who was squeezed out when he was relieved of helming duties.

Barker has reinvented himself as chief executive and skipper of the new Team Japan syndicate and interest will centre on his ability to lure Kiwi talent to make the new team competitive.

Team New Zealand retain a key brains trust at the top of their sailing team in co-helmsmen Glenn Ashby and Peter Burling, as well as rising star Blair Tuke.

They are facing a race against time to start the world series in competitive fashion. That series, to be raced in smaller foiling 45-foot catarmans, starts in Portsmouth, England, next month.

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