The Need for Speed

The boats racing for the America’s Cup have always been at the leading edge of technology, pushing for new ways to make the yachts go faster. Often designs are kept top secret.

Even after Team New Zealand had successfully defended the Cup in 2000, viewers still didn't know what was under the NZL60. But the animators providing graphics for the television coverage thought they knew the secret...

Build a Better Boat

Imagine you are designing an America's Cup yacht. Brainstorm ideas for making a boat go faster, and make a drawing of your design. For example: maybe the yacht would get a boost if you attached the world's biggest bottle rocket?

kiwi bottle rocket image

Muscles and Mice

The sailors in Team New Zealand are all super fit - especially the Cyclors pedalling on the AC50 in Bermuda. They had thighs of thunder! Watch their legs and you'll see their muscles bulge and ripple.

When the Ancient Romans noticed the movement of beefy arms, they thought whatever was moving under the skin seemed to wriggle just like a mouse moving under a carpet.

That’s why the English word 'muscle' is derived from the word 'musculus', which is the Latin term meaning 'little mouse'!

Bizarre Body Parts

The Ancient Romans and Greeks had other interesting ideas when it came to naming parts of the human body. See if you can guess the body part from the English versions of their ancient names: Download the Bizarre Body Parts PDF

bizarre body parts image

Burn, Baby, Burn

Not so long ago, people thought sailing was a sedate, relaxing sport. But all that changed with the America's Cup in Bermuda. Sailors had to be so fit and so strong they were called "superhuman". Skipper Jimmy Spithill said: " It's like sprinting up a hill for 25 minutes. Some days you look at the heart rate data and it looks like a few guys are having heart attacks." In Bermuda, grinders turned their handles more than 7,000 times every day! When a sailor hits their physical limit, their body tells them to stop, but they just keep going. Have you ever run so hard your muscles started to "burn"? What causes the burn? Why do muscles get tired?

On Your Bike

In Bermuda, Team New Zealand's radical decision to pedal their way through the water was a stroke of genius. The cyclors (cycling sailors) produced all the power needed to raise and lower the foils, pull the huge wingsail, and keep the boat flying. Could you convert your bicycle into a boat? How would it float? How would you make it move? Would you have sails, or propellors? Make a drawing of your design.

Noenoe Bike Raft image
Teacher Resources link

KIWI CAN FLY - The America's Cup