“There’s no better place in the world to sail,” said 2018 New Zealand Millennium Cup winner Marcus Blackmore, owner of Ammonite as he accepted his prize in January this year.
With the release of the regatta’s notice of race today and expressions of interest from new and repeat competitors, 2019’s edition will aim to introduce other yacht owners to this very special part of the world. The NZ Millennium Cup Regatta will be raced in Northland’s Bay of Islands; one of the world’s great natural playgrounds, from 30 January to 2 February 2019.
Regatta organisers have announced changes to the regatta’s format in order to give it the space needed to expand in anticipation of entry increases in the years leading to the 36th America’s Cup. The regatta dates have been moved back by one week while new and challenging courses have been introduced.
“Having been involved with most other superyacht regattas globally, I can honestly say that the 2018 Millennium Cup was the most enjoyable event I’ve ever done,” said captain of this year’s entry, S/Y Sassafras, Tim Michalick.
The organisation of the racing and evening events was second to none. We thoroughly look forward to taking part again.” Former America's Cup principle race officer, Harold Bennett will return to lead the race committee with inventor of the ISYR rule, Jim Teeters handicapping the event.
The New Zealand Millennium Cup attracts yachts with a penchant for adventure and was first run as an accompaniment to the 2000 America’s Cup in Auckland. With the 36th America’s Cup headed to New Zealand in 2021, organisers are predicting rapid growth of the regatta fleet over the next three years.
“We’re already receiving entry enquiries; not just for 2019, but 2020 and 2021,” says event organiser, Stacey Cook.
“The J Class Association has also accepted our invitation to race in 2021 and we know having the strikingly-elegant classic yachts race alongside the NZ Millennium Cup will add an extra dimension to our racing.”
The NZ Millennium Cup 2019 will be raced in the beautiful Bay of Islands from 30 January to 2 February. It’s the world’s most southerly superyacht regatta and is becoming well-known as a must-do event for yacht owners who like to get off the beaten track.
The regatta is designed to highlight the importance of the superyacht sector in New Zealand’s marine industry, as well as showcase some of the country’s most visually-striking cruising grounds in a truly enjoyable manner.
With the approach of the 36th America’s Cup, organisers expect to see the competing fleet swell exponentially over the next three years.
The Organising Authority is the New Zealand Millennium Cup Committee and the New Zealand Marine Export Group Inc. under the auspices of the Russell Boating Club.
A superyacht regatta in one of the world's great natural playgrounds
All photos ©Jeff Brown Breed Media