Rayglass Protectors chosen for America’s Cup duty

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The Rayglass Protectors will be used in both the America’s Cup and inaugural Sail GP races.

The Rayglass Protectors will be used in both the America’s Cup and inaugural Sail GP races.

Teaser: After the races conclude, the RIBs will be given to the New Zealand coast guard for search-and-rescue operations.

Rayglass said that its Protector RIBs have been chosen as official patrol boats for the 36th America’s Cup and the inaugural Sail GP competition.

The Brunswick builder said in a statement that the agreements are likely to be worth tens of millions to the local economy.

Rayglass CEO Dave Larsen said he was “particularly pleased with the unique agreement” reached between Rayglass, Emirates Team New Zealand, the Royal New Zealand Coastguard and Lotto. “It will not only benefit all of us, it will also have a huge impact on our many Kiwi suppliers, both large and small,” said Larsen.

Twenty-four Rayglass Protector RIBs, ranging from 30 to 41 feet, will be used as patrol and support boats for the Prada Cup (the challenger series for the America’s Cup) and then for the America’s Cup Match. At the end of the regatta, thanks to funding by Lotto, the Protector RIBs will be gifted to the Royal New Zealand Coastguard for search and rescue work along New Zealand’s coastline and inland lakes.

“We are particularly glad that this new agreement will continue the long association Rayglass has enjoyed with both the America’s Cup and Coastguard,” said Larsen. “Rayglass founder Tony Hembrow created the first Protector back in 1998, specifically as a specialist patrol boat for the Coastguard.”

Protectors were chosen as the official patrol, crowd control, media and even ambulance boats for the 2000 America’s Cup regatta in Auckland. They have been involved in every America’s Cup since.

The new Sail GP competition, an annual, global sailing contest in Sydney, San Francisco, New York, Cowes and Marseille, will also use Rayglass Protectors.