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Our story

“After winning and defending the America’s Cup, we decided it was time to try something new.”

In 2014, Aaron Hunter and Andrew Rhodes founded Solid Composites. They met 13 years ago as members of Oracle’s America’s Cup shore crew for the 32nd, 33rd and 34th campaigns. There they pushed boundaries, ingeniously constructing Oracle’s boats to surpass expectations and win the 33rd and 34th campaigns. Since then, they moved on to bring their skills of a contemporary in-house racing team to a range of global clients. This has included prototype vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) airplanes, super yachts, TP52 Super Series teams, 35th America’s Cup components, automobile racing components, and luxury products (kayaks, stand up paddle boards, showers, etc.). 

With their innate ability to think outside of the box, Solid Composites has brought back the lost art of innovation, craftsmanship and flexibility to composite construction

 

 

    Andrew grew up on the North Shore of Auckland, where he was greatly influenced by his family. He loved the water and spent all of his spare time on the waters of the Hauraki Gulf.  By tinkering away on his grandmother’s yacht, and learning the ins and outs of fishing, Andrew discovered his eye for design and skill for building as he modified whatever he could get his hands on. Andrew soon began to look at the world as malleable, viewing nothing as perfect or impossible; taking every challenge as Kiwis do, head on.   Andrew went on to an apprenticeship in composite spar making with Matrix Masts NZ. From there he was asked to join the Oracle Racing team for their 32nd Americas Cup challenge. He stayed on for the following two campaigns to successfully win and defend the 33rd and 34th campaigns; wrapping up 11 years with the team to start Solid Composites. 

 

Andrew grew up on the North Shore of Auckland, where he was greatly influenced by his family. He loved the water and spent all of his spare time on the waters of the Hauraki Gulf.

By tinkering away on his grandmother’s yacht, and learning the ins and outs of fishing, Andrew discovered his eye for design and skill for building as he modified whatever he could get his hands on. Andrew soon began to look at the world as malleable, viewing nothing as perfect or impossible; taking every challenge as Kiwis do, head on. 

Andrew went on to an apprenticeship in composite spar making with Matrix Masts NZ. From there he was asked to join the Oracle Racing team for their 32nd Americas Cup challenge. He stayed on for the following two campaigns to successfully win and defend the 33rd and 34th campaigns; wrapping up 11 years with the team to start Solid Composites. 

    Born and raised in Auckland, Aaron was brought up by the ocean and introduced to sailing at a young age by his parents. His earliest memory was sailing a Flying Ant with his Dad at age 6.  Over the next ten years, Aaron and his family spent weekends and school holidays sailing around the North Island in a variety of keel boats.   When Aaron approached Marten Marine to do some work experience on NZ Endeavour in his school holidays, his path into boat building was assured.  Upon leaving school, Aaron went back to the same yard to begin his apprenticeship and gained experience building Open 60s, Volvos and racing maxis and the spars that went with them.  A personal highlight was being chosen in 1999 to repair Young America for the 2000 America’s Cup.  The following year, Aaron was approached by Oracle Racing to build their AC yachts and he spent the next 12 years in the shore team - winning the cup in 2010 and successfully defending it in 2013.  Ready for a new challenge, Aaron helped form Solid Composites.

 

Born and raised in Auckland, Aaron was brought up by the ocean and introduced to sailing at a young age by his parents. His earliest memory was sailing a Flying Ant with his Dad at age 6.  Over the next ten years, Aaron and his family spent weekends and school holidays sailing around the North Island in a variety of keel boats. 

When Aaron approached Marten Marine to do some work experience on NZ Endeavour in his school holidays, his path into boat building was assured.  Upon leaving school, Aaron went back to the same yard to begin his apprenticeship and gained experience building Open 60s, Volvos and racing maxis and the spars that went with them.  A personal highlight was being chosen in 1999 to repair Young America for the 2000 America’s Cup.  The following year, Aaron was approached by Oracle Racing to build their AC yachts and he spent the next 12 years in the shore team - winning the cup in 2010 and successfully defending it in 2013.  Ready for a new challenge, Aaron helped form Solid Composites.

Achievements

  1. Andrew 

  2. 34th America's Cup winner 2013

  3. 33rd America's Cup winner 2010

  4. 32nd America's Cup shore and build teams2007

  5. NZQA National Certificate for Boatbuilding and 2005Composite Spar Making

  6. ATTA Graphics competition for Auckland region, 3rd place2000

  7. National Young Designer Award: Consumer Products Category, 1st place 2000

  8. National Young Designer Award: Product Design and Consumer Products Categories, 1st place 1999

  • Aaron

  • 34th America's Cup winner 2013

  • 33rd America's Cup winner 2010

  • 32nd America's Cup shore and build teams2007

  • 31st America's Cup shore and build teams2003

  • NZQA National Certificate for Boatbuilding and 1997Composite Spar Making