With the New Zealand Millennium Cup regatta just around the corner, Ed Dubois gives his considered opinion on the New Zealand superyacht industry.
It is no secret that returning NZ Millennium Cup sponsor Ed Dubois has a unique connection with New Zealand. With over 40 Dubois Naval Architects designs built in the country over the last 30 years, this designer understands better than most the skill, expertise and passion that lies at the heart of New Zealand’s superyacht industry.
For him, the NZ Millennium Cup regatta is intrinsically linked to the marine mastery within Kiwis’ DNA.
“It’s good to be back supporting this regatta once again,” he says. “The Millennium Cup had its origins in the success New Zealand had, and continues to have, in the America’s Cup. That connection is very important and emphasises the continued excellence of New Zealand’s marine industry. Add to this 2015’s inspired decision to move the regatta to the Bay of Islands, which ensures that all those taking part are blessed with some the best sailing and coastal scenery in the world.”
The last few years have undoubtedly been extremely difficult for the Kiwi superyacht industry. For Dubois, it is key that events like the NZ Millennium Cup remind the world of not just the beauty of New Zealand, but of the prowess of its superyacht realm.
“Dramatic changes have undeniably been seen in the New Zealand superyacht sector in recent years,” he says. “This has been a loss to the world industry, but I have complete confidence that we will see a strong re-emergence. When cyclical tough times come along ‘the boat’ is usually the first thing to go for owners, but confidence eventually returns.”
Pointing to shipyards like Yachting Developments who have evolved over the years into multi-faceted companies, Dubois argues that strength has come from diversification in New Zealand. “It is easy for me to come from Europe saying things about confidence in the Kiwi spirit, but perhaps you can understand me for saying just that on this occasion, having witnessed the New Zealand industry’s fine work for over 30 years” He finishes:- “There is a well-known expression ‘you can’t keep a good man down’ and New Zealand has four million very good men and women. The NZ Millennium Cup is a celebration of this country and its spirit.”
The Dubois Yachts team is busy with several new orders in discussion, including a 45m sailing yacht design announced in December 2015.
Running from 26 to 29 January in the stunning Bay of Islands, the New Zealand Millennium Cup is organised by the NZ Marine Export Group and a dedicated committee of some of New Zealand's most pre-eminent superyacht industry figures. A celebration of great racing, matchless cruising grounds, exceptional hospitality and innovative industry, this one-of-a-kind regatta is not to be missed.
The regatta is supported by a raft of international companies, including platinum sponsor, Orams Marine, and gold sponsors Yachting Developments, Doyle Sails New Zealand, Far North Holdings/Port Opua and Smuggler Marine.
Silver sponsors include OnFire Design, Breed Media, Dubois Yachts, Integrated Marine Group, Southern Spars/North Sails and Robinson Interiors. Thanks also goes to Holton Marine, Maxwell, Whiting Power Systems, Harken New Zealand - Fosters, Events Clothing, Q-West, McMullen and Wing, Tourism NZ, Kit Carlier, COAST, Hancocks and our media sponsors The Superyacht Owner and Ocean Media.
A superyacht regatta in one of the world's great natural playgrounds
All photos ©Jeff Brown Breed Media