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Mini Americas Cup Regatta to be held at University

Bruce Farr's of the future will get to test their boat designs at a mini America's Cup Regatta being held at the University of Waikato.

100 first year engineering students were formed into 14 syndicates and have designed and built one metre class yachts which will race in a challenger series, with the winner then tackling a University staff built boat.

All the boats have the same hull shape, but students have built and tested their own keels, rigging, rudders and sails in a bid to gain an edge over other syndicates.

The 10-week project is part of Waikato University's first year Bachelor of Engineering degree and aims to introduce students to key aspects of modern engineering, says regatta co-ordinator Michael Walmsley.

"The enthusiasm that the students have shown is amazing. They're learning about new materials, manufacturing techniques, electronic, and computer aided design, and then putting what they know into practice. It's all about hands on learning and not being afraid to get out there and give it a go."

Boat designs have strictly followed the one metre class rules. Keels and hulls have been water tank tested to ensure maximum speed.

Local industry are supporting the regatta, with North Sails NZ Ltd donating sailcloth and Kilwell Sports Ltd supplying carbon fibre material for spars and masts.

Each syndicate has been partnered with a 4th year engineering student who has project managed the syndicate as part of their 4th year management course.

The 14 syndicates will race off in a preliminary challenger series, with the top eight boats then moving into the quarter finals. From there the top four boats will be found and a semi final race will be held. The best two boats will then contest the Challengers Final, with the winner earning the right to race against the University staff boat in the America's Cup Final.

The mini America's Cup Regatta is being held on Friday, June 7 at the Waikato University lakes. The preliminary round starts at 11am, with the Challengers Final at 3pm and the America's Cup Final at 3:30.


For further information contact:

Michael Walmsley Public Relations and
Marketing Office
Senior Lecturer 07 838 4067
Phone: 07 838 4701

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