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Full steam ahead for Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

by Helen Horrocks 5 Dec 2023 01:54 PST 5 December 2023
Auckland Anniversary Regatta - Monday January 29, 2024 © AAR

The Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta is back fighting fit after last year's weather-related cancellation, which was only the second in the event's 184 year history.

Organisers are predicting a bumper turnout of both entrants and spectators on Monday 29 January 2024, with a new foiling class joining the event, two major Anniversary Weekend sailing competitions incorporating the regatta, and a whopping $15,000 prize pool to tempt participants into joining in.

The event has been a popular fixture on Auckland's boating calendar since the first impromptu regatta was held on the day Auckland was founded in 1840. Pre-dating even the America's Cup, it's the oldest sporting event in New Zealand, and the engravings on its impressive trophy collection reads like a "who's who" of New Zealand sailing and watersports across nearly two centuries.

With over 60 trophies to be won, all of which are on permanent display at Auckland's Maritime Museum, competitors have the chance to become part of nautical history by winning their respective division on Anniversary Day. The newest of these will be the Wingfoil division, which joins the regatta for the first time in 2024. Competing at Manly Sailing Club, wingfoilers use an inflatable wing and a foiling board to propel themselves at speeds of up to 50km per hour, with wind-assisted jumps adding to their thrilling display.

Takapuna Boating Club will be showcasing even more high speed thrills and spills, with the Windfoil, Kite foil, Nacra 15 and 17, Waszp, Moth and A Class fleets racing there throughout Anniversary Weekend. Club officials are expecting a good turnout of spectators for the event, with the club's recently reopened cafe offering great views of the racing.

Across the harbour at Orakei, the Royal Akarana Yacht Club is gearing up to welcome the regatta's biggest fleet, with over 250 Optimist and Starling sailors poised to descend on the club for their Auckland Championships. Showcasing the talents of the region's young sailors, this will be the place to see the next generation of top Kiwi sailors, as they compete to make one of the top national teams.

At Westhaven, spectators will be treated to the spectacular sight of tugboats thundering down the harbour, after which they will put on an impressive display. A large number of Auckland's fleet of lovingly restored classic yachts and launches will also race in the regatta, along with modern keelboats from clubs around Auckland. With prizes including a once-in-a-lifetime holiday courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines, plus $3,000 worth of Harken Fosters vouchers, a $1,000 cash bonus prize drawn from early entries, and other prizes adding up to a total value of over $15,000, there are plenty of reasons for boaties to get amongst the action.

The Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta is also made possible with the support of Oceanbridge Shipping, Auckland Council, Hawaiian Airlines, Lawson's Dry Hills Wines, Rothbury Insurance Brokers, Ellerslie Jewellers, Spirit of Adventure Trust, Harken Fosters, Aotearoa Gaming Trust, Trillian Trust, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Royal New Zealand Navy.

More information for participants and spectators, together with the online entry form, can be found at www.regatta.org.nz.

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