How we won the 36th America’s Cup

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Emirates Team New Zealand is known for their outstanding achievements on the world yacht racing stage and their drive for excellence in technical innovation. So how does a supercomputer become part of the team?

During the 2021 America’s Cup, NIWA’s supercomputer, the largest in New Zealand, was used to analyse past environmental conditions (hindcasting), predicting future weather (forecasting) and modelling ocean currents in the Hauraki Gulf – all to an extremely high resolution.

The experienced NIWA forecasters and scientists worked with Emirates Team New Zealand meteorologist Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham, Yachtsman and Coach Ray Davies and Head of Design Dan Bernasconi to provide environmental dynamics critical for design, along with accurate forecasting to assist with strategic decisions made by the sailors during the 2021 Hauraki Gulf races.

“Weather is such a vital element of a successful America’s Cup campaign,” said Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton.

The partnership was an exciting combination of a long-term knowledge and an instinctive understanding of sailing on the Hauraki Gulf and the Waitemata Harbour, paired with NIWA’s technological innovation in weather forecasting – a powerful collaboration.

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Principal Scientist - Forecasting and Media
Manager - Marine Resources