Please select your home edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Glenn Ashby's engine is what is above the craft, rather than what is hidden under the bonnet

by Emirates Team NZ Media 26 Mar 03:08 GMT 26 March 2022
Southern Spars have renewed long relationship with Emirates Team New Zealand for the Wind Powered Land Speed Record project © ETNZ Media

When most people think of speed records they immediately think of huge powerful engines.

But when it is a wind powered land speed record a normal combustion engine is an obvious absence. Glenn Ashby's engine is essentially what is above the craft, the wing, rather than what is hidden under the bonnet.

Because of the speed the land yacht will be travelling once accelerated, it actually requires quite a small area of sail, relative to the craft. The design of the 10 metre high ridged wing and spar of the land speed craft is an integral performance factor in having the ability to break the world record and exceed 202.9km/h. And in many respects, this specific design harks back to previous America's Cup's in the AC72 & AC50 catamarans that had hard wing sails as opposed to the soft twin skin wing sails seen on the AC75's in the 36th America's Cup.

A constant partner over many campaigns in the evolution of rigs, spars and wings with Emirates Team New Zealand has been the world leading local composite manufacturers Southern Spars who very quickly emerged to Pilot Glenn Ashby and Production Manager Sean Regan as an essential partner in a project as time constrained, labour challenged and performance driven such as the land speed project.

"The value of the initial decision to partner with Southern Spars is one of those decisions that has only increased over time," explained Ashby. "These partnerships are always about performance and experience but having them focus on the production of the spar and wing that our designers have designed will help us hit our very tight production timelines with a quality rig designed to generate the power for the craft which will hopefully see us push well towards 250kmph later this year."

For Mark Hauser and his team at Southern Spars the Emirates Team New Zealand wind powered land speed project was clearly a whole lot more than just another job to squeeze in their already packed production schedule. "We've had a very good relationship with Team New Zealand for a long time now, but when Glenn and the team got involved in this, we saw it as a real opportunity, because it's something that we are really passionate about. It is composite, its high tech, it's pushing the boundaries, and it suits everything we do in here." said Hauser

"A lot of the parts in the wings (in the 35th America's Cup) were very similar to what we're doing now. But more so, it is pretty important for our team at Southerns to be involved in things like this as they just thrive on that high tech stuff, especially when you've got something in your sights like world speed record to beat. That gets them really excited."

Hauser is already thinking ahead and has factored in some downtime on the factory floor when the world record attempt is under way later this year. It shouldn't have too much of an effect on productivity though- Glenn just needs to maintain his speed for over 202.9km/h for 3 seconds to register as a new world record.

But before getting out on the salt flats ready to shoot for the record, a mountain of milestones remain. The clock ticks and the production continues at a frenetic rate across Auckland from the ETNZ build facility to Southern Spars. But Sean Regan remains optimistic, "The guys are hitting some really strict time lines with the build project. So, in a few weeks, we'll hopefully see the whole project coming together."

Related Articles

Project Land Speed: Horonuku arrives in Australia
Horonuku has arrived safely in Australia, clearing customs this week in Adelaide Horonuku has arrived safely in Australia, clearing customs this week in Adelaide after its journey via sea from Auckland over the past month or so. Posted on 5 Aug
Project Land Speed: Pod power explained
ETNZ's Tim Meldrum explains how the pod is used on Horonuku to optimise righting moment Emirates Team New Zealand's Tim Meldrum explains how the pod is used on Horonuku to optimise weight carried depending on the windspeed. Posted on 30 Jul
Project Speed: Waiting is best, patience is a must
Constant evaluation and adjustments of plans are essential to the success of the overall objective With a project as highly contingent on weather and conditions as the Emirates Team New Zealand wind powered Land Speed World Record attempt, constant evaluation and adjustments of plans are essential to the success of the overall objective. Posted on 15 Jul
Project Speed: Waiting for the lake to dry
Venue for wind powered land speed record attempt still underwater - dates pushed back It would come as no surprise that a lake would normally have water in it. But what is surprising is that Lake Gairdner, the usually bone dry salt lake in South Australia, currently has a somewhat inconvenient amount of water in it. Posted on 10 Jul
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ on the move
America's Cup champions to shift to new base in September on extended lease Emirates Team New Zealand confirmed today that the team has signed a lease of the former INEOS Britannia team base on Wynyard Point from Auckland Council and intends to have moved in by the end of September this year. Posted on 6 Jul
Project Speed: Certifying the record checklist
World records are not broken every day, nor are they ever easy to achieve, but they must be For Ashby, as the pilot at record breaking speeds that will need to exceed 202.9km/h, his control is not much more than a two finger operation on a lever, some foot pedal pumps and some small steering adjustments.. Posted on 2 Jul
ETNZ Project Speed: Ashby's Update -Testing ends
New Zealand-based testing program of Horonuku at Whenuapai Air Base - Phase 2 is complete! New Zealand-based testing program of Horonuku at Whenuapai Air Base - Phase 2 is complete! With the wonderful assistance of the RNZAF we have been able to sign off on the many pre-designed configurations and tuning of the main components of the yacht. Posted on 31 May
ETNZ Project Speed: Glenn's Diary Week 2 - Cut!
We are going to shorten the craft up and change the distance between the rear wheels and the centre Emirates Team NZ and the Project Speed team have been making the most of their testing at the Whenuapai base this past week in a range of weather which Glenn Ashby and the team have utilised to continue their sharp learning curve on ‘Horonuku' Posted on 27 May
ETNZ Project Speed: Glenn's Diary Week 1 - 75kts
Out of the box Horonuku has worked extremely well hitting speeds in excess of 140kph Emirates Team New Zealand's Glenn Ashby reports on the first week of testing in Horonuku, the team's 14metre long land yacht, to be piloted by Ashby, in an attempt to break the world speed record set in 2009 of 220kph/120kts for a wind powered craft. Posted on 24 May
America's Cup: Hydrogen powered foiler hits 50kts
Chase Zero to date has been clocked at 50.3 knots (93.16km/h) on its 9th day of testing Emirates Team New Zealand have been continuing the successful commissioning and testing of their hydrogen powered foiling chase boat 'Chase Zero' on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf since its launch just five weeks ago. Posted on 11 May