Rayglass Boats’ Protector RIBs to be official patrol boats for the 36th America’s Cup and Sail GP regatta
New Zealand’s Rayglass Boats has announced that its Protector RIBs have been chosen as the official patrol boats for two of the world’s major sailing regattas – the 36th America’s Cup and the inaugural Sail GP competition. The agreements are said to be worth tens of millions of dollars to the local economy.
A grant to Coastguard New Zealand from the Lottery fund for community benefit related to the 2021 America’s Cup will see 24 Rayglass Protector RIBs, ranging from 9m-12.5m, loaned to Emirates Team New Zealand and America’s Cup Ltd used as official patrol and support boats for the Prada Cup (the challenger series for the America’s Cup) and then for the America’s Cup Match itself.
At the conclusion of the regatta, they will be returned to Coastguard New Zealand to distribute around New Zealand’s coastline, major lakes and rivers to ensure the safety of the country’s boating communities.
“We are particularly glad that this new agreement will continue the long association Rayglass has enjoyed with both the America’s Cup and Coastguard,” says Rayglass CEO Dave Larsen. “Rayglass founder Tony Hembrow created the first Protector back in 1998, specifically as a specialist patrol boat for the Coastguard.”
Two years later, Protectors were chosen as the official patrol, crowd control, media and even ambulance boats for the 2000 America’s Cup regatta in Auckland. They reprised their role in 2003 and have been heavily involved in every America’s Cup since.
In addition to the 18 9m, three 10m and four 12.5m Protectors that will be used for mark and course setting, crowd control and media, Rayglass Protectors have also been chosen as the support boats for Emirates Team New Zealand and the majority of the challenging syndicates.
Meanwhile, the organisers of the new Sail GP competition have also chosen Rayglass Protector RIBs for their annual, global sailing contest held in Sydney, San Francisco, New York, Cowes and Marseille. The competition will use identical F50 catamarans, capable of exceeding 50kt.
Each of the competing yachts will accompanied by a Rayglass 10m Protector centre console, a first response RIB capable of keeping up with the catamaran’s speeds, and then fitting in a single container for quick and easy transportation to the next race venue.
Rayglass says that its Kiwi-designed and built Protectors have found favour in most parts of the globe, especially Europe, the US, Scandinavia, Russia, Asia and the Pacific, where they are successfully used as patrol and rescue boats, as support vessels for international yacht racing teams, as fast pleasure cruisers and sports fishing boats, and as superyacht tenders.