An heroic effort by Perseus^3 sees her win the 2024 NZ Millennium Cup

An heroic effort by Perseus^3 sees her win the 2024 NZ Millennium Cup
New Zealand Millennium Cup 2024 © Jeff Brown

26 February 2024 - Auckland, New Zealand - The final day of racing on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf saw the fleet competing in light air on a course which gave them 23nm for one last push to reign supreme.

The yachts took off from Motutapu, to the Noises, then D'Urville Rock, Rakino, the Haystack, and home again, though over the substantial length of the course they weren’t able to shake clear of each other. 

Perseus^3 - The 60 metre Perini Navi-built yacht
Perseus^3 - The 60 metre Perini Navi-built yacht © Jeff Brown

Perseus^3 crossed for home first while behind her, Janice of Wyoming, Sassafras, Cat+Ion and Kotuku clung together in a drag race.

Yesterday’s grey, moody Auckland sky was brightened as Janice of Wyoming unfurled her cowboy spinnaker. A sight that’s become a favourite for spectators, the bucking bronco flying above this iconic yacht has become synonymous with the spirit of fun, all-in racing the Cup embodies.

Perseus^3 team © Jeff Brown
Perseus^3 team © Jeff Brown

But they couldn’t catch Perseus^3. Having dominated racing on the first day, won line honours on day two to Sassafras’ win on corrected time, and charged out strongly on day three, Perseus^3 couldn’t be stopped.

“I love being here in New Zealand, but what I love most about our boat is we have these warriors who sail it here. When we race we bring the greatest,” said the owner of Perseus^3.

“We’ve been fighting the Kiwis in sailing for years. And if you can’t beat them, hire them on your boat. We’ll be coming back every year,” he added.

20 meter Gunboat OUTNUMBERED
20 meter Gunboat OUTNUMBERED © Jeff Brown

The multihull division was tight, at times tense, and too close to call at others, though ultimately Outnumbered took out the honours in her first NZ Millennium Cup.

“It’s our first time in New Zealand,” said Outnumbered’s owner. “And we’re in love with the country, we love the people.”

“It’s been great to have the boats back and the regatta running, with the additional bonus of having the very impressive sight of Perseus ^3 on the course,” said principal race officer Harold Bennett.

“The sight of those three big yachts powering up and crossing together, is a sight I’ll never forget. We haven’t seen a finish that close before over successive NZ Millennium Cup’s. It’s a privilege to work for these boats and a privilege to work for this team,” said Bennett.

Sassafras, 34m Royal Huisman
Sassafras, 34m Royal Huisman © Jeff Brown

Sassafras, winner of day two’s racing and long-term competitor in the Cup was gracious in ceding victory to Perseus^3.

“It’s been 20 years doing this regatta. And we want to thank our crew - they’re the best looking - and the most effective.”

The Spirit of the Regatta prize - and the Mount Gay Rum it’s filled with
The Spirit of the Regatta prize - Regatta rum barrel filled with the Mount Gay Rum  © Jeff Brown

The regatta’s famed camaraderie was on show, with ship’s cannons firing, battle songs blaring and plenty of ribbing between competitors on the track. However at day’s end, with sails lowered, the lifelong friendships formed at this southern-most of superyacht regattas emerged on the central Auckland race dock.

That camaraderie earned Perseus^3 a second nod; the Spirit of the Regatta rum barrel.

For results and more information see

The South Pacific's premier superyacht regatta
The South Pacific's premier superyacht regatta
Organised by the NZ Marine Export Group and a dedicated committee of some of New Zealand's most pre-eminent superyacht industry figures, the NZ Millennium Cup is a celebration of good racing, great cruising grounds and exceptional hospitality.

Drawing attention to New Zealand’s beautiful cruising grounds, skilled workforce and innovative industry, we’re looking forward to delivering an event which showcases the best of our superyacht sector in a relaxed, recognisably-Kiwi style. A key focus of the regatta is to encourage extended cruising within the country, and the committee will be working closely with the wider industry to ensure yachts are aware of the diversity New Zealand waters present, as well as the opportunity for world-leading refit and repair services.
Orams Marine, the superyacht hub of the South Pacific, has created a centre for award-winning superyacht refit and maintenance services since hauling its first superyacht in 1987. At its location in the heart of central Auckland, its wide array of facilities, including an 820 tonne travel lift, 600 tonne slipway, 60 metre worksheds, 90 metre marinas and range of other haul out and hardstand options, provide the platform for skilled tradespeople to manage standard-setting refit projects. Having created the superyacht hub of the South Pacific, Orams Marine’s knowledgeable team work with captain, owner, management and crew to deliver excellence in refit solutions.