Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta, New Zealand’s oldest sporting event, celebrates 171 years on Monday, 31 January 2011 as part of the region’s birthday with a sailing fleet of hundreds of different craft on Waitemata Harbour, a festival on land and a display of flying prowess in the skies.
Dragonboats, waka ama canoes, an armada of vintage tugs and workboats, elegant classic yachts and launches, nippy centreboarders and some of the fastest racers in the southern hemisphere will be competing in their respective classes for cash prizes and legendary silver trophies in a day of spectacular racing.
'It will be 171 years since the first regatta took place and we look forward to a yachting spectacle that brings to life the glory of by-gone years and also provides a showcase of our up and coming talent with many of our world champions, Olympic and America’s Cup yachties all current or former participants,' says Regatta Organising Chairman, Eric Mahoney.
'There are over 50 yacht clubs around Auckland, with sailors from novices to seasoned veterans and all are welcome whether they are piloting their radio controlled craft or powering down the harbour under sail in a multihull in the Harbour Blast.'
Entries are now open at www.regatta.org.nz
or phone 0800 REGATTA (0800 734 2882). It costs $15.00 for centreboard yachts and radio controlled yachts to enter and $25.00 for tugboats, keelboats and multihulls.
The great classic yacht revival will see a large fleet of some of Auckland’s legendary racing yachts in the water. A number of these yachts date back to the 1890’s and have recently undergone full restoration including Thelma, Rainbow, Ranger, Gloriana, Tawera, Wairiki and Little Jim.
This year we are also expecting a number of classic yachts from Australia to participate in a Challenge Series and a continuation of the racing rivalry between Wraith of Oden from Australia and Thelma, one of Auckland’s most famous classic competitors. The classic yacht fleet with be lit up, Mediterranean style, at dusk, on Sunday, 30 January at their base in Viaduct Harbour for sightseers to have a closer inspection.
A highlight of the day will be the tugboat and workboat race and the parade back to the Viaduct after the skippers have thrashed it out in a rush of spray, waves and full throttle forward.
The start line, off Princes Wharf, downtown, will ensure spectators have a great view and there are excellent vantage points around the harbour including Bastion Point, Devonport Wharf, North Head, Orakei and East Coast Bays.
The flagship for the day will be the Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Wellington with the Governor General and VIP guests aboard. There will also be a display from the Red Checkers and entertainment on land with buskers, music, maritime displays, tours and the Seafood Festival.
The family of regatta sponsors is headed by Oceanbridge Shipping Limited, Auckland City Council, Ports of Auckland Limited, Classic Hits 97.4FM, Lion Foundation and the Spirit of Adventure Trust.
For more information and entry forms go to: www.regatta.org.nz