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High Performance
Yacht Design HPYD8

Conference | 2024




The excitement is over and our HPYD 7 Conference has wrapped up.  See you in 2024 when we will be running HPYD 8 in conjunction with the next America's Cup.

Proceeding s and videos will be available to purchase in our shop soon.

To view the recordings of the Networking and Public sessions click here to navigate to the events page.



March 2021

The HPYD 7 Schedule

Thursday 11th March 2021

  • 0700 - 1200 NZDT  Conference session  - online and in person    

  • 1730 - 1830 NZDT  Local industry presentations (free event for employees of NZ companies in the marine sector)

  • 1830 - 1930 NZDT  Refreshments

  • 1930 - 2100 NZDT  Public session on America’s Cup Technology (free event)


Friday 12th March 2021​

  • 1600 - 1900 NZDT  America’s Cup racing

0700 - 1200 NZDT (Thursday 11th March) 
1900-0000 EUR (Wednesday 10th March) 
1300-1800 EDT-US (Wednesday 10th March)

The Papers

15 papers from 14 authors.

The Sessions

Experimental hydrodynamics   

Disturbances and controls   

Wind powered ships   


Structures / Loads

Click here for session timetable

Other HYPD Events

Click here to find out about other events hosted by the HPYD committee


Past Events





December 2002

"The most informative technical conference I've been to as well as an exceptional opportunity to meet old friends and be educated at the same time." - Merfyn Owen, Owen Clarke Design, England

"You managed to attract the most prominent researchers in the field from all parts of the world. This must be one of the best conferences in yacht design ever held." - Professor Lars Larsson, Chalmers University, Sweden


February 2006

Jointly hosted by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, the University of Auckland and Massey University, the second international conference on high performance yacht design showcased the latest developments in yacht research from around the globe.








December 2008

The 3rd High Performance Yacht Design conference was widely acclaimed to be even better than the first two. The conference saw 28 papers presented on a broad range of topics.


March 2012

The fourth HPYD conference was held during the Auckland stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in March 2012. It was a great opportunity to meet the sailors, see the yachts and attend this highly acclaimed, world-class technical conference. The University of Auckland in conjunction with HPYD hosted a very successful public panel discussion on Volvo 70 Design and Sailability.








March 2015

The fifth HPYD conference was held during the Auckland stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in March 2015.  The University of Auckland in conjunction with HPYD hosted a very successful and lively Open Session. "PJ" Montgomery was master of ceremonies and interviewed Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race and Race Director, Jack Lloyd.


March 2018

On March 11th 2018, the HPYD committee organised a range of exciting, publicly accessible presentations and keynote addresses delivered by some of the top designers and engineers involved in the America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race.





The Conference

HPYD is a series of conferences on high performance yacht design organised by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) NZ and the University of Auckland. The first conference was held in December 2002. Since then it has showcased the latest developments in yacht research from around the globe. The conference enables naval architects, engineers, designers and researchers to present and hear papers on the current state of high performance yacht and power craft technology.

The conferences feature papers related to the design of high performance power and sailing yachts, including:

  • Structural design and analysis

  • Aerodynamics and hydrodynamics

  • Performance prediction

  • Wind tunnel and towing tank testing

  • Computational methods

  • Hull and appendage design

  • Regulations and rating rules

  • Routing and tactics



Conferences are timed to coincide with an international yachting event. HPYD7 will coincide with the 36th America's Cup competition.

The Venue

Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest urban region and is home to approximately 1.3million people. It is also recognised as the largest Polynesian city in the world, so there are a variety of cultural experiences on offer. Auckland is built on an isthmus located between two beautiful harbours - the Waitemata, meaning "sparkling waters", which is the key to Auckland being known as the “City of Sails”, and the Manukau Harbour, which flows out to rugged black-sand beaches loved by surfers.


Our Sponsors


North Sails is the world’s leading sailmaker. Based on the scientific approach set by Lowell North, the brand  has pioneered more technological advances than all other sailmakers combined. North Sails is a team of experts who have dedicated their academic and professional careers to pursuing excellence in sailing. Our clients enjoy the highest performance sail technology and a global network and service sites, including 14 dedicated superyacht lofts worldwide. Since, 1988 all America’s Cup defenders, including current Defenders Emirates Team New Zealand, have trusted North Sails products and design talent to power their engine above deck.


Doyle Sails has secured its place as one of the world's leading sailmakers by establishing a reputation for producing high quality sails and for continually innovating. With a stellar reputation for impeccable attention to engineering detail and high quality construction, we utilise the latest technologies to create the most advanced sails on the market. Doyle Sails New Zealand is 100% New Zealand owned and operated by three of the most experienced names in Kiwi yachting: Mike Sanderson, David Duff and Richard Bouzaid.


Having made its name in the high-end race boat market over 30 years ago, Gurit now supplies the full spectrum of marine projects worldwide with advanced composite materials and engineering services for lightweight, durable and more sustainable structures. Production boats focusing on manufacturing efficiencies, superyachts with unique design features, commercial and military vessels requiring robust yet low weight construction, as well as current race yacht programmes looking for cutting edge performance, are all benefiting from Gurit’s complete composite solution.


Southern Spars specialises in the design and construction of carbon fibre spars and components, rigging and rig servicing. As the industry pioneer, Southern Spars built its first carbon spar in 1990. Since then the company has pursued a passion for delivering world class cruising and racing spars, carbon rigging and service. Its operation extends to four corners of the world with centres in the USA, Denmark, South Africa, Spain and Sri Lanka, with headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand.  Southern Spars is backed by the international Oakley Capital Group, a company renowned for investing in leading technology companies.


The Organising Committee

Mr David Le Pelley, Doyle Sails NZ (Chair)

Assoc. Prof. Peter Richards, University of Auckland (Technical Chair)

Mr Burns Fallow, North Sails NZ

Prof. Richard Flay, University of Auckland

Mrs Susan Lake, Core Builders Composites

Ms Helen Quekett

Nicolas Aubin, Doyle Sails NZ