With the Americas Cup AC45 programme ramping up ahead of the first racing later this year, as official furler suppliers to the Cup we are now working closely with all the teams on their preparations. Recent work has included a full service on all of the Emirates Team New Zealand furlers. With the boats being converted to foiling, most teams have opted for fresh gear with new upgrades added, ready to compete. We are delighted and proud that the America's Cup endorses our product range, with all boats carrying KZ hardware on board.
February was an exciting time for the KZ Marine Group team with the Volvo Auckland Stopover in town. We have a long-standing relationship with the race and are official furler suppliers to the boats. Not to mention two of our team – Keryn McMaster and Marleen Cleyndert – have completed four Volvo/Whitbread races between them!
We took advantage of the fleet being in town to offer all the yachts a full service on their furlers and head swivels – over 60 units between them – and were delighted to have positive feedback and how the furling systems had been performing. "It was a pleasure to work with the KZ team again during Team SCA's time in New Zealand for the 2014/2015 Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover," said Richard Mason, Shore Manager for Team SCA. "The team did an amazing job for us, fully servicing our furler parts and systems."
We are often approached to come up with custom solutions for clients, both for new projects and those looking to retrofit existing yachts. A recent project was for the 30m superyacht Chrisco, where we were tasked with creating a custom new head swivel and modifications to the integrator by KZ Racefurlers to suit the yacht's new Code 0 sail.
With the yacht having to work with the hydraulic furling system built in the bow of the boat, KZ Marine Group then worked to create a new 12T SWL head swivel and customised top down integrator for the yacht that would complement the hydraulic furler. The end result was a sail and furling system that worked together perfectly from first use, leaving the owner and skipper very happy with the overall solution.
Read the full case study, including insight from the captain of Chrisco, here.
As a proud Kiwi company, we love to work with and support many of New Zealand's talented sailors. Fresh from his amazing victory at the 2015 Moth Worlds, Peter Burling came by the KZ Marine Group factory and even brought his trophy along. KZ regularly works with Peter on custom solutions for his boats and we were delighted to be able to help refine the foiling and rudder sytems for his successful Moth campaign.
Peter is very hands on and on his visits to the factory you will often find him on the tools with the team so he can really understand the parts and their production process. Peter's a man of few words, but we did get him to confirm that he was very happy with his collaborations with KZ, and that our parts for the Moth campaign were 'sweet as.' Thanks for your ongoing support of KZ Marine Peter!
The 70th edition of the Rolex Sydney-Hobart race saw Wild Oats XI sail her way to a record eighth line honours victory, beating closest rival the newly launched Comanche with a time of two days two hours three minutes and 26 seconds.
In a great result for the KZ Hall of Fame, all of the first five yachts across the line – Wild Oats XI, Comanche, Ragamuffin 100, Rio 100 and Black Jack – were carrying KZ offshore racefurler models ranging between 10 and 20T. We are very proud to be the product of choice for so many of the the world's best performance yachts.
We are pleased to confirm that effective as of 2015 the entire Extreme 40s fleet will be exclusively using KZ offshore Racefurlers. Back in December Keryn McMaster, Brand Manager at KZ Marine, headed to Sydney to see some of the fleet in action, working with the boats to make sure they were all happy with the equipment and performing strongly. Act 1 of racing for 2015 commenced in Singapore in Marina Bay, from February 6th-8th, with the Red Bull Sailing Team taking victory. We are looking forward to plenty of racing over the year ahead.
One of the most talked-about superyacht launches of 2014 was Jim Clark's new 30m maxi yacht Comanche. Built for speed and performance by Hodgdon Yachts, Comanche harnesses all the latest build technologies and is set to be a formidable competitor on the race course as her close second place line honours at the recent 2014 Rolex Sydney-Hobart race proves.
"KZ Marine first got involved in the Comanche project after being approached by her project manager and boat captain who had worked with us on previous Volvo Ocean Race projects," says Keryn McMaster. KZ Marine worked with the Comanche build team to help develop big custom furlers to ensure a safe working load. Other work included a range of custom parts in titanium and other exotic materials, with the KZ Marine design team developing these unique custom solutions for the project. Since her launch, KZ Marine has remained closely involved with the team, even providing last minute service support on non-KZ parts prior to the Sydney-Hobart race commencing.
The Auckland leg of the Volvo stopover is fast approaching, and with the full fleet carrying KZ 10T offshore Racefurlers we are looking forward to seeing our gear back on home soil. The race village opens on February 27th, with the fleet in town until 15 March before the start of Leg 5. While the fleet is in Auckland we will be taking the opportunity to fully service all the Volvo fleet furlers to make sure they are in pristine condition ready for the remaining legs of the race. Stay posted for our activity surrounding the Stopover.
KZ Marine Group is the world's leading marine hardware manufacturer.