- Technology - ETNZ sets land speed record

By SuperyachtNews

ETNZ sets land speed record

Emirates Team New Zealand records 222.4km/h with 22 knots of windspeed on Lake Gairdner in South Australia…

The America's Cup has always been a testing ground for new technologies. As well as its defence of The Auld Mug, one of Emirate Team New Zealand’s other projects has broken new ground in innovation. Along with the pioneering use of composite technologies on the water, and hydrogen-powered chase vessels, the team set its sights on a more obscure record attempt.  

Horonuku’, named by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei meaning ‘gliding swiftly across the land’ has set a new ground speed record using wind power. Pilot Glenn Ashby comments: “The team and I are obviously buzzing to have sailed Horonuku at a speed faster than anyone has ever before - powered only by the wind. But in saying that we know Horonuku has a lot more speed in it when we get more wind and better conditions.”

“So for sure there is a cause for a celebration, but this isn’t the end. From the initial idea and the beginning of this world record attempt, which was pushed and supported by Grant Dalton, Matteo de Nora and the rest of the team at Emirates Team New Zealand, the objective has never been about just beating the record, it has always been about pushing things to the limit and going as fast as we possibly can. We know we can go faster, so we plan to.”

The 222.4km/h speed will be declared ‘official’ after a stringent verification process conducted in accordance with the international governing body FISLY (Federation Internationale de Sand et Land Yachting). There has been an independent FISLY-approved judge on the ground at Lake Gairdner to witness and verify the run, the GPS recording from Horonuku and all other mandatory requirements of a record attempt – and must submit all related data to FISLY within 48 hours

Image: Emirates Team New Zealand / James Somerset

Horonuku is fitted with an approved GPS which records survey grade, differential GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) data which provides 21 data points over the two-second record period. Each of those data points supplies a position estimate accurate to around 10mm. This will deliver an average speed of over two seconds the result of which will be directly comparable to that of the standing record of 202.9km/h recorded by Richard Jenkins on March 29th 2009, a record which has stood for over 5000 days.

“The Land speed project has been a new opportunity to push the boundaries in aerodynamics, structural forces, construction methods and materials fields,” said Emirates Team New Zealand Principal Matteo de Nora. "What is often underestimated is that the technologies we explore in challenges like this- or an America's Cup campaign - are ultimately the foundation of tomorrow's technology. Being ahead of the times in technology is what fascinates me about all the challenges faced by the team so far.”

ETNZ now focuses on going even faster, with more conducive wind conditions expected in the coming weeks. This achievement comes off the back of its successful launch of Chase Zero, its zero emissions hydrogen-powered chase boat, and the ongoing development of its America's Cup Defence at AC37, in Barcelona 2024. 


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ETNZ sets land speed record


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