Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, and NIWA CEO John Morgan recently signed an agreement that will see NIWA’s scientists working closely with Emirates Team New Zealand over the next few years – to provide specific information for the design of their new AC75 racing yacht as well as vital race-day forecasting.
NIWA Chief Executive John Morgan said he was delighted to offer NIWA’s scientific expertise to Emirates Team New Zealand.
Massive increases in computing power are allowing NIWA scientists to not only analyse more data, faster, but also to envisage completely new experiments. NIWA is part of a pilot project running incredibly sophisticated sensor networks on New Zealand farms, and analysing the data to improve on-farm decision making.
“We are providing our services exclusively to Emirates Team New Zealand because of their outstanding achievements on the world yacht racing stage, their drive for excellence in technical innovation, and of course our collective desire to see them defend the America’s Cup in March 2021”, Mr Morgan said.
NIWA’s experienced forecasters and scientists will work 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 racing.
“Weather is such a vital element of a successful America’s Cup campaign,” said Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton.
“Partnering with NIWA to work in conjunction with Clouds and Ray Davies is essentially an exciting combination of a long-term knowledge and an instinctive understanding of sailing on the Hauraki Gulf and the Waitemata Harbour, paired with the technological innovation in weather forecasting that NIWA brings. It will no doubt be a powerful collaboration.”
“The work we are doing is highly innovative and brings together a range of technologies that will provide a bespoke solution for Emirates Team New Zealand,” Mr Morgan said.
NIWA will be putting their supercomputer, the largest in New Zealand, to use in analysing past environmental conditions (hindcasting), predicting future weather (forecasting) and modelling ocean currents – all to an extremely high resolution.
“NIWA depends on the Unified Model for its forecasting and predictions of New Zealand’s weather and climate and it will be more critical for us in the future as we adapt to a changing climate.” Dr Dean says the Unified Model provides a platform for collaboration that enables development beyond what would be possible by a single organisation.