The tenth edition of the world's most southerly superyacht regatta will begin tomorrow, with a fleet of adventurous superyachts gathered in New Zealand's Bay of Islands to race in this fiercely competitive event.
Photo: Jeff BrownSilvertip B rounds the Nine Pin during last year's regatta (photo by Jeff Brown)
Between 23-26 of January, six superyachts will battle it out in the Bay of Islands through a series of courses which weave through uninhabited islets and emerald waters during this fiercely competitive event.
Following the country’s many recent successes at the America’s Cup, the event's organisers are expecting a surge in entries over the next four years, as New Zealand prepares to host the 36th America’s Cup in 2020 - with an influx of superyachts already booking berths for the event.
This year's regatta is expected to retain the fiercely competitive mood of previous years, with entries often finishing seconds apart. The International Superyacht Rule (ISYR) creator Jim Teeters will be handicapping the race on site from New Zealand while former America’s Cup principle race officer, Harold Bennett will act as officer during the day.
The tenth NZ Millennium Cup will see new entries compete against seasoned sailors for the top title, with internationally renowned sailors jumping on board to help. Tom Schnackenberg, Matt Belcher, Will Ryan, Tom Dodson, Tony Rae, and Richard Meacham will all be lending their skills to competitors in the regatta.
This year's six-yacht fleet includes the winner of last year's regatta, the 28.1-metre Tawera, who will return to defend her titles.