The opening of NZ Millennium Cup 2016 sponsorship applications has been met with resounding uptake from key international and local brands seeking limited patronage opportunities. Initial entry applications hint this will be the largest fleet seen racing in comparison to recent previous years and with international media giants The Superyacht Owner and Ocean Media on board the idyllic Bay of Islands will anchor global gaze.
Orams Marine, New Zealand’s premier marine facility housing over 30 marine specialist businesses in the heart of Auckland’s CBD, is capitalising on provision of platinum status to support the marine industry. “The NZ Millennium Cup is a fantastic product and we’ve put our hands up for the next two years because we know it’s great for the marine industry here in New Zealand” says Neven Barbour of Orams Marine. “Since our refit of the luxury 88m superyacht Athena the boat builds keep getting bigger and bigger. Orams Marine Village is at capacity throughout the cruising season and we want to roll with this momentum, back the industry and give competitors something fantastic to look forward to when they come down.”
Dubois-designed vessels including Janice of Wyoming and Silvertip have both confirmed they will be returning to compete in the 2016 regatta. “We are coming back this year with the same crew and we have our eyes on a podium finish” says Chris Wilson, Janice of Wyoming’s captain. “It’s competitive but all about having a blast with a great group of people.”
“We are looking forward to the coastal race and seeing some new competitors as well as some old rivals” adds Silvertip captain Blair MacLeod. “We love the competition and the chance to line up against similar equipment and sail the boats as hard as we can.”
After a 20-year absence from NZ shores Tawera (ex Catalyst) will also be joining the fleet. "I was fortunate to join the Silvertip crew in the 2015 NZ Millennium Cup” says Tawera’s owner Mike Mahoney. “The whole sailing adventure, camaraderie and shore based activities were first class - a real credit to NZ Marine. I can’t wait to hit the start line with Tawera.”
Kealoha, a 27m Claasen Jachtbouw build, will be entering the regatta for the first time. “After hearing great things about the regatta from other crew we’re very much looking forward to racing in such a picturesque venue” says captain James Saddington.
With a Notice of Race finalised and several more entrants under application initial indications hint at a large competitive fleet taking part in the iconic race.
Gold Sponsors Smuggler Marine have been avid supporters and sponsors of the NZ Millennium Cup since 2012. The Smuggler Strata 750 Mid Cabin powered by the very first Gen 2 Etec in New Zealand waters was the support boat for the 2015 event. “We are incredibly proud of what we do and we want to do our part in promoting NZ Marine and New Zealand” says Managing Director David Pringle. “Potential clients seeing our product in the water at the regatta has been outstanding marketing and we have received enquiries that have led to tenders each year.”
Smuggler Marine are joined as gold sponsors by Far North Holdings. Far North Holdings Chairman Ross Blackman is equally enthusiastic given the economic boost these international yachts will bring to the region.
Dubois Naval Architects’ prolific relationship with the New Zealand yachting industry over the last 30 years has prompted Ed Dubois to encourage many clients to put his designs and their aspirations in the hands of New Zealand craftsmen; representing over $NZ1billion worth of contracts in the region. This commitment has seen Dubois return as a silver sponsor for the 2016 NZ Millennium Cup.
On Fire Design, builders of premiere superyacht websites, join Dubois as silver sponsors. Friends of the Industry sponsors include Maxwell Marine, Holton Marine and Whiting Power. The event has been further buoyed by keen backing from Tourism New Zealand.
Whilst off-water, guests will be entertained with the best of New Zealand seafood, produce and wine in a variety of luxury venues overlooking the water. Championing quintessentially Kiwi hospitality Mt Gay Rum has been announced as the key supplier.
Expanding international media coverage supported by returning media partners The Superyacht Owner and Ocean Media show that the southern hemisphere’s regatta has come of age.
The NZ Millennium Cup 2015 was touted as the place ‘where the Pacific superyacht industry meets’. In 2016 the global superyacht industry will again be either part of or focus on the beautiful Bay of Islands - the place to be on January 26th 2016.
A superyacht regatta in one of the world's great natural playgrounds
All photos ©Jeff Brown Breed Media