Designers: Laurie Davidson, Bruce Farr & Ron Holland | Builder: McMullen & Wing
Year Built: 1985 | Other Names: Nippon Challenge (1992), Kiwi (1998)
Length Overall: 19.99m | Waterline: 14.02m
Beam: 4.02m | Draft 2.74m
Construction: glassfibre composite, glass reinforced plastic
First Owner: NZ America’s Cup Challenge Trust, NZ.
Current Owner: Gunther K. Buerman | Homeport: Newport, RI
Sir Michael Fay put together the three leading New Zealand designers and a $15,000,000 budget to realize the first long-lasting challenge for the America’s Cup. KZ-3 was among the first twelves built of glassfibre composite. Nicknamed “plastic fantastics” these boats had the advantage of significantly stiffer hulls with no flexing especially in the mast region where the shrouds are attached. Special attention was devoted to the keel design for which exhaustive tests were conducted in wind tunnels. KZ-3 was the first of two trial horses for KZ-7 in view of the challenger trials.
Purchased by the Nippon Yacht Club in Tokyo, Japan she was raced as Nippon Challenge and given a new sail number J-3. In 1998, she was purchased by Michael G. Smith, who brought her to Melbourne, AU, restored her original sail number (KZ-3) and renamed her Kiwi.
Owned by Roger Wright, she was known as Wright on White and was actively raced in the Newport fleet.
KZ-3 was purchased by Gunther K. Buerman, her current homeport is Newport RI, where she is actively raced in numerous regional regattas.
*Content courtesy: The Twelve Metre Class by Dyer Jones & Luigi Lang
An interview with current KZ-3 New Zealand owner, Gunther Buerman by Jamie Hilton
Onboard KZ-3 New Zealand at 2014 NYYC Race Week Presented by Rolex — Video by: The New York Yacht Club.