Published: Friday, 22 January 2016

After a standout 2015 regatta, the sunny Bay of Islands is set to host its second New Zealand Millennium Cup (Jan 26-29), with entries now making their way to New Zealand’s Far North.

New Zealand Milennium Cup Welcomes Four New Entries 1

(Photo: Bay of Islands/Jeff Brown)

The eighth edition of the cup will see a balance of first time entries and long-time competitors face off in a sensational few days in one of the world’s great natural playgrounds.

Four new entries will line up for the regatta – Kealoha, Tawera, Shamoun, and in the Pacific division, Allegro – keeping experienced campaigners Janice of Wyoming and Silvertip on their toes throughout the week.

The 40-metre sloop Janice of Wyoming, built by Alloy Yachts and designed by silver sponsor Dubois, knows the Millennium Cup well after competing in the last four regattas. Named after her owner’s home state in the US, the Ed Dubois design launched in 2005 and has sailed all over the globe. After a winter refit at Orams Marine last year, Janice is ready to go.

Former champion and one of Janice’s rivals, 33.8m Silvertip will also return this year. Built by gold sponsor Yachting Developments and also designed by Dubois, Silvertip is a stunning high-performance sloop launched in 2002 to much fanfare – winning both the International Superyacht Society award and the Showboats Design Award for 'Best Sailing Yacht' upon her launch. Silvertip also won the 2009 and 2012 Millennium Cup.

After a 20-year absence from New Zealand shores, Tawera (formerly Catalyst) will also join the fleet. Although she spends most of her time as a charter yacht in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, Tawera’s owners Mike and Tracy Mahoney are bringing this 28m yacht back for the second time.

New Zealand Milennium Cup Welcomes Four New Entries

(Photo: Janice of Wyoming/Jeff Brown)

This year’s regatta welcomes Kealoha, a 27.5 metre sloop from the Netherland’s Claasen Shipyards and Hoek Design. Upon launch, Kealoha impressed the worldwide sailing community, picking up the 2007 International Superyacht Design Award in the Best Sailing Yacht: 24m – 40m category.

While this will be 33m Shamoun’s first Millennium Cup, she is no stranger to racing, having competed in the St Bart’s Bucket Regatta, the Superyacht Cup in Palma, and most recently the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous.

With last year’s Pacific division title coming down to a winner-takes-all final race, the division has added Allegro to compete with 2015’s champion Steinlager II and Antaeus. Allegro comes to the race, hot off the back of the Sydney to Hobart race.

New Zealand legend Steinlager II is set to thrill local crowds, as she races around the course in top condition after her extensive 2014 refit with gold sponsor Yachting Developments.

Joining them in the Pacific Division is returning 2015 entry; Antaeus. The yacht’s owner and crew thoroughly enjoy the chance to support the NZ Marine Export Group, while sailing alongside superyachts in the magnificent Bay of Islands. 

The New Zealand Millennium Cup is organised by the NZ Marine Export Group and a group of dedicated New Zealand superyacht figures. With three days of high quality racing, exceptional hospitality and stunning views in one of the most picturesque cruising destinations in the world, this event is truly unique and a must-see.

New Zealand Milennium Cup Welcomes Four New Entries 2

(Photo: Silvertip/Jeff Brown)

As a focal point for both the local industry and for the global brands looking for more exposure in the growing Asia Pacific market, the NZ Millennium Cup has welcomed a number of sponsors on board, including platinum sponsor Orams Marine, and gold sponsors Smuggler Marine, Far North Holdings/Port Opua, Doyle Sails New Zealand and Yachting Developments.