Auckland-based Southern Spars is the world’s leading carbon fibre spar manufacturer. The company was established 25 years ago and specialises in the design and construction of carbon fibre spars and components, rigging and rig services. The company is the official rig package supplier for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.
This will be the second time the company has provided the full rig package for the Volvo Ocean 65 One-Design, although the company has been supplying spars to the event’s podium finishers since Sir Peter Blake secured a commanding victory on Steinlager 2 in 1989-90.
In total, the company has made rigs for 38 teams over the years. Nowadays, with the one-design aspect of the race, all rigs must be identical in terms of dimensions, weight and stiffness. The first 11 rigs to be bend-tested for the 2014-15 race showed a discrepancy of just 1.4mm across the board and the weight of the masts varied by just 1.35kg from the heaviest to the lightest, a difference of 0.32 percent.