Trophy case looking a little sparse? Feel like racing in some of the most renowned waters on earth, then remaining for the season? Point your bow south for the New Zealand Millennium Cup, being held January 21 to 23.
The New Zealand Millennium Cup, initiated in 2000, takes place on the Bay of Islands, a first. The Bay of Islands features 144 islands and many sheltered anchorages. It’s further where Opua is located, where most megayachts make their first port of entry. Anchorages will be arranged for attendees of the New Zealand Millennium Cup as a result. Also a first, it’s being held in conjunction with the Bay of Islands Sailing Week. That weeklong regatta, celebrating its 13th anniversary in 2015, attracts quite the crowd and competition.
The New Zealand Millennium Cup also has a good reputation for competitiveness. Captains and owners who’ve raced in previous editions have great stories. Capt. Gerhard Ruether of Zefiro (pictured), who is also her owner, has raced in a number of regattas worldwide. He says of last year’s race, “We had a lot of fun. The regatta was well-organized, and the atmosphere easy and pleasant.” Capt. Blair Macleod of Silvertip says, “You don’t need to spend thousands flying in rock-star crew; there are plenty of world-class guys locally who will jump at the chance to help you get ‘round the track in one piece.”
Of course, the organizers want megayachts to stay for the season and cruise. Ruether says it’s worth it. “I would recommend any captain and/or owner planning cruises in the Pacific to arrange to visit the beautiful country New Zealand as a must and organize their stay timewise os that participation in the Millennium Cup is not missed.” The race organizers further want owners and captains to learn more about refit and new-build opportunities. Various industry companies will be on hand as a result.
To register, download the New Zealand Millennium Cup invitation to race.