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Millennium Cup: Auckland's waters to hum with superyacht racing this week

by Isla McKechnie 21 Feb 01:51 PST
NZ Millennium Cup raced in Auckland © Robert Gleed

The clock is on! The New Zealand Millennium Cup gets underway this week, marking the start of Auckland’s inaugural ocean festival.

The southern hemisphere’s longest-running superyacht regatta gets underway this week in Auckland.

The final countdown is on to the New Zealand Millennium Cup, which will see striking superyachts gather to race in Auckland from this Friday. This year’s Cup is a standout edition of the event, marking the start of Moana Auckland; New Zealand’s ocean festival.

With the festival creating a month-long celebration of Aucklanders’ connection with the ocean, the harbour city makes the perfect backdrop for the NZ Millennium Cup to return to, after years of racing around New Zealand and the world.

For the first time in a decade, the New Zealand Millennium Cup will be raced on Auckland’s waters. The fleet will be taking on conditions which have been enjoyed by the world’s leading yachtsmen in America’s Cup and Round the World races, and experiencing the beauty of a harbour which turned a nation into sailors.

Returning to the regatta’s roots will also see the competing fleet moored in the central city, with the regatta’s social events at the stern.

“It’s a return to the intimate, fun racing we’ve always been so proud of and we can’t wait to share our beautiful city with the racing fleet,” says organiser Stacey Cook.

Two racing divisions have been devised to add to the intensity of competition, with the NZ Millennium Cup fleet including yachts like 60 metre Perseus^3, and a multihull division which will feature a showdown between sister yachts Cat+Ion and Kotuku.

“Perseus^3 was built to race specification and we’ve enjoyed building her reputation on the course across the world’s great superyacht regattas. With a race crew which has become known for its spirit and camaraderie, we’re looking forward to bringing Perseus^3 to New Zealand’s waters and letting her show her ability during the New Zealand Millennium Cup,” says Burger van der Walt, captain of Perseus^3.

She’ll join other early entries to the race including Royal Huisman’s Sassafras, the crew of which is looking forward to competing after the regatta’s two year hiatus.

“The team on Sassafras is excited at the prospect of racing in the New Zealand Millennium Cup after a two year hiatus. The Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf offer a world-class sailing venue, with the backdrop of the City of Sails, home of the holder of the America’s Cup. We look forward to competing with visiting yachts and crews, to make the New Zealand Millennium Cup 2024 the best yet,” says Matt Lovett, captain of S/Y Sassafras.

For more information see www.millenniumcup.com.

About the NZ Millennium Cup

The NZ Millennium Cup 2024 will be raced in Auckland from 23-26th February. It’s the world’s most southerly superyacht regatta and is becoming well-known as a must-do regatta 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 unique manner.

The Organising Authority is the New Zealand Millennium Cup Committee.

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