The New Zealand Millenium Cup is now open

28 March 2021

  New Zealand's summer of racing continues, as the NZ Millennium Cup gets underway with a welcome function at the Duke of Marlborough, sponsored by Southern Spars. The Sunday evening function marks the start of the South Pacificís longest-running superyacht regatta and also heralds a new era in superyacht ratings systems.

This yearís regatta promises to be particularly exciting with the introduction of a different handicap scoring method developed for superyacht racing by the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC). This is the first time it will be used in a superyacht regatta, though itís used by ORC for non-superyacht regattas, and uses an average wind speed experienced on the race course and computed on the elapsed time around the course of the winning boat in corrected time.  The new system; Performance Curve Scoring was adopted by the raceís handicappers (ORC) and competitors specifically for the NZ Millennium Cup regatta, with representatives of each yacht expressing excitement about the new method to be used in the coming week.

At a pre-race briefing, principal race officer, Harold Bennett, expanded to competitors on the plans for the race. Citing the drive to ensure exciting racing, Bennett explained morning races would be windward/leeward around the Ninepin as the top mark, while afternoon races would be longer, using a combination of the many islands of the Bay of Islands, plus occasional buoys, to ensure yachts are tested with on the wind, reaching and downwind legs. With racing formalities out of the way, owners, crew and guests settled in to enjoy the hospitality of the Duke of Marlborough, including Mount Gay Cocktails which were a nod to Russellís colonial-era reputation as one of the wildest ports in the Pacific. With Mount Gayís Missionaryís Downfall in hand, guests were regaled by Bruno Trouble, as they prepared for racing in one of the worldís great natural playgrounds to begin on Monday morning.

The regatta, which runs from 28-31 March, is one of the must-do regattas on the world superyacht circuit and has garnered a reputation as a fun, hospitable, but fiercely competitive regatta. The Cup marks the final stanza in an exhilarating season of racing in New Zealand.  The regatta was first held alongside the 2000 Americaís Cup and is now in its 15th year. Itís the longest running superyacht regatta in the South Pacific and has built a reputation for its camaraderie and fierce competition.



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