Some of the most advanced foiling catamarans in the world will be tested in waters off Northland later this month.
SailGP announced overnight new-class wingsailed F50 catamarans will be tested from mid-October off Bream Bay.
Warkworth-based Core Builders Composites is to establish a Technical and Development hub in Ruakākā as part of its work to build the catamarans which are to be used in the global SailGP competitive yachting series.
The region will become the central technical and development hub for the production and delivery of some of the most advanced boats in the world.
Testing will take place from Northport, the deep-water commercial port at Marsden Point, about 80km north of Core Builders Composites factory, where the F50s were designed and built by highly-skilled marine professionals from across Northland.
The first F50 will be launched later this month using Northport's 100-ton mobile harbour crane, which will lower the boats and wings to a special pontoon and mooring area the port has set aside for the purpose.
Over the next three months SailGP will take advantage of local resources and experts to conduct testing and ensure the F50s are race-ready early next year.
Activity will continue in Northland throughout SailGP's initial seasons and beyond.
And at the helm is New Zealander Russell Coutts, who is moving past the America's Cup, to help launch what he hopes is a commercially sustainable sailing league using the supercharged catamarans which are capable of zipping across the tops of waves at 53 knots.
Coutts and American software tycoon Larry Ellison announced their SailGP global racing league in London.
Teams from the United States, Australia, Great Britain, France, Japan and China will compete starting in 2019 in highly advanced catamarans called F50s.
The series begins Feb. 15-16 in Sydney, Australia, followed by regattas in San Francisco on May 4-5; New York on June 21-22; Cowes, England, on Aug. 10-11; and the finale in Marseille, France, on Sept. 20-22 that will include a winner-take-all $1 million match race.