The first superyacht regatta of 2019, the NZ Millennium Cup will see competitors fight it out on a selection of challenging courses, which draw attention to the country’s spectacular cruising grounds.
NZ Millennium Cup race officer Harold Bennett, says: “Short courses with three start options along with one long course promise to provide variety as the regatta progresses, and gives race management flexibility to work with New Zealand’s changeable conditions to create fierce, fun racing.”
New for 2019, the regatta will introduce the ORC Superyacht Rule, which promises exceptionally close racing, and ORC officials will join the race management team throughout the racing.
There is also expected to be an increase in the number of spectator yachts turning up for the regatta. This is in response to Auckland being announced as the host city for the 36th America’s Cup which has boosted interest in the NZ Millennium Cup as well as New Zealand’s wider cruising grounds.
As for the participants, three long-time regulars will be returning to the race, including the 34m/112ft sailing yacht SASSAFRAS from Royal Huisman, Yachting Developments’ 33m/109ft sailing yacht SILVERTIP and the 28m/92ft Alloy sailing yacht TAWERA.
With last year’s winner not competing at the upcoming edition, it clears the way for SILVERTIP and TAWERA to go head to head for the top spot after finishing in second and third place respectively in 2018.
However, the pair will also have to face the 48m/159ft Vitters sailing yacht THALIA, which last made an appearance at the cup in 2009 and is fresh from a recent refit with Orams Marine.
Another strong contender will be the 28m/91ft sailing yacht FREYA from Nautor’s Swan. Despite being a newcomer at the event, she is no stranger to racing after strong performances at regattas such as the Palma Superyacht Cup, the Rolex Swan Cup and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.