Throughout the last month we have seen first hand the important role technology and innovation can have on performance. The America’s Cup is a sport dominated by technology and Team NZ’s approach to this regatta links well with our ideology surrounding our ability to be resourceful.
This is often referred to in New Zealand as the number 8 wire mentality, which is a throw back to earlier days in New Zealand and our strong farming heritage. According to Wikipedia, this came to “represent the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Kiwi’s and evolved to denote an ability to create or repair machinery using whatever scrap materials are available to hand”.
We tend to punch above our weight in sports that require the use and development of an external “device”, think cycling, kayaking, sailing and rowing. These are all sports where technology has a direct and immediate influence on performance.
Team NZ challenged the status quo and worked within the rules and regulations to innovate and develop an alternative approach to grinding on the boat. They recognised that the legs are a much stronger body part than the arms and attempted to replicate the arm grind using modified bikes. As we know, this improvement paid off for them, with the “cyclors” adding significant value to every race.
These thoughts link well with AS 2.5 on My Study Series, where technology is addressed as a historical feature while examining the significance of a sporting event.
You can read more about the innovative approach here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/25/sports/sailing/americas-cup-new-zealand.html