2017 New Zealand Millenium Cup Superyacht Regatta: Laid Back Luxury

Photo Credit: New Zealand Millennium Cup

Go ahead. Stick out your tongue and cover your face with tattoos because in New Zealand’s native Maori culture, both mean you’re ready to destroy your opponents in battle. You’ll need that extra edge to make your mark among the competitive entries in the 2017 New Zealand Millennium Cup Superyacht Regatta, taking place January 24-27.

Credit: Candie Vazquez

Hosted by Orams Marine and organized by the New Zealand Marine Export Group and a few pre-eminent sailing yacht industry figures, the race takes place during Bay of Islands Sailing Week, and this elite fleet is poised to sail some yachts and break some records.

Credit: Duke of Marlborough Hotel

The Location

The Bay of Islands on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island boasts 144 dots on the map, dropped into some of the most dramatic scenery on the planet. With easygoing Kiwi hospitality, the region welcomes racers and spectators alike, etching remarkable friendship into the mix of sport, technology, and competition.

Credit: Jeff Brown

Registration will be held at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel in the nearby town of Russell, New Zealand’s first capital city. You’ll find all the skippers at the daily briefing each morning at the NZ Millennium Cup headquarters tucked into the Opua Cruising Club. Being a sociable lot, each evening will have its own fête. Thursday evening, the Duke of Marlborough welcomes everyone back to toast the entries.

Credit: Jeff Brown

The Entries

Hosted by the Opua Cruising Club, the event this year welcomes back Steinlager II, with an impressive list of palmares, and several Millenium Cup titles to her credit. She’s been around and done a few things, including taking 1st Place in both the Fastnet and Whitbread Races a time or two. A Bruce Farr design built in 1989, “Big Red” has endured a number of refits but continues to claim hardware despite worthy opponents.

Credit: Jeff Brown

Newcomers to the race this year include the Royal Huisman/Dykstra Yachts 37m/122ft Pumula and Baltic Yachts’ 42.9m/140ft Cavallo. A regular entry, distinguishable by the Wyoming cowboy riding along on her spinnaker, Janice is expected to put up a good fight with her 39m/130ft Alloy Yachts design. Performance cruiser Farfalla, sloop-rigged Silvertip, keelboat Aneaeus, and the long, low, Ron Holland designed Tawera will add to the competitive spirit.

Kauri Cliffs Golf
Credit: Kauri Cliffs Golf

Added Trip Bling

New Zealand is a laid back, wonderfully welcoming place with crazy beautiful scenery. The Kiwis have learned how to showcase the natural beauty of cherished places through some very posh recreation, lodging, and cultural options. Wrap the regatta with days spent playing golf at the Kauri Cliffs, sip some award-winning local wine at the Marsden Estate winery located just outside the nearby town of Kerikeri, or shop for authentic native Mauri art, complete with live demonstrations on weaving, carving, tattooing, and mirimiri massage at Taute Gallery.

Sumbathing From Your Villa Photo Credit Rahimoana Villa at Eagles Nest

Once you get a peek at the offer, you will want to spend a splendid night or two in the exquisite Rahimoana villa at Eagles Nest overlooking the Bay of Islands. It comes with your own infinity pool, sauna, gym, a private kilometer of pristine beach with your own private chef, butler, chauffeur, and security personnel. You’ll also have use of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo and access to the Eagles Nest chopper, ready to take you up for a bird’s eye view.

Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Credit: Salt Air

Exploring Roberton Island, aka Motuarohia, or diving for fresh scallops in Paradise Bay makes for a relaxing lunch in Urupukapuka’s shallow shelter. Diving for the visual pleasure of a deep water dive at Cape Britt’s Hole in the Rock can be combined with spearfishing for marlin, kingfish, tuna, and swordfish. Surf beaches at Eliot Bay, Bland Bay, and a walk around the historic, 19th century whaling port at Russell, with a waterfront promenade and lovely shops, cafes, and galleries, mixes the best of Mauri and European cultures. A nice composite of all that is New Zealand, it is also where the Millennium Cup awards ceremony takes place, closing out the experience with good food, good drink, and good company at the Duke of Marlborough’s pub.

new zealand in depth
Credit: New Zealand in Depth


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