SkyPath innovates with America’s Cup technology
Media release: SkyPath innovates with America’s Cup technology
SkyPath is capitalising on New Zealand’s marine expertise by proposing the use of composite materials and manufacturing technology developed for the America’s Cup. SkyPath would be constructed by the Auckland yacht builders who built the Team NZ and Oracle America’s Cup catamarans. This innovation has been recognised by NZ Innovation Council with SkyPath being a finalist at the annual NZ Innovators Awards being held this Thursday, October 17.
Project Director Bevan Woodward says “Whilst we’ve had to go through a significant design update and testing programme, we have now achieved a composite solution for a similar price to steel and aluminum construction. This means SkyPath would be stronger and lighter, would be easier to implement and would have much lower maintenance costs with a service life of at least 50 years.”
Core Builders Composites project manager Tim Smyth says “The use of composite materials for buildings and bridges has been proven overseas. We propose to work with a number of Auckland composite manufacturers in a similar programme as the successful production of the 14 America’s Cup AC45 catamarans. We would deliver SkyPath in 14 metre long sections ready for nightly installation onto the city side of the Harbour Bridge.”
NZ Marine Industry Association’s Peter Busfield says “We believe SkyPath will be an exciting showcase for the NZ marine and composites industries. It will be a high profile demonstration of our expertise that will enable us to talk to many other sectors about utilising our services, and not just in NZ but internationally.”
In May 2013 Council's Strategy & Finance Committee voted to support Mayor Len Brown's recommendation for Council staff to advance their work on SkyPath's patronage review, funding and delivery arrangements.
In December, Council will determine its support which would enable SkyPath to be implemented as a user-pays, self-funded facility that transfers to Council ownership after the admission fare period.