When Pete de Roo made his first lab sample of Durepox in November 1983 tucked away in a dilapidated laboratory, little did he realise that his new development would one day become world famous. The first batch made at the Resene Automotive Ranui factory in April 1984 was just 100 litres.
Thanks to the Spanish entry DesafÌo Español and Emirates Team New Zealand who forwent the normal sponsorship arrangements that have precluded the promotion of Durepox on America's Cup boats in the past, the humble story of Durepox can at last be shared.
Resene staff painstakingly matched each hue on the Spanish entry to exacting Pantone standards in Durepox. Each sample was then sprayed out and flown to Valencia for approval before the careful task of hull painting could begin. The Spanish shore crew were rapt with their colourful boat that stood out from the crowd.
The America's Cup rules are very demanding and Resene Automotive and Performance Coatings had to analyse paint samples from all the boats using Durepox to ensure that the product formulation was consistent with the original shipment and that no additives were used to gain any speed advantage. In one round of testing alone, 26 samples from seven boats were sent to the ESR forensics laboratory for forensic analysis.
Before the first sail was even unfurled, Durepox had well and truly won the heart of the design teams.