With scenic Kawau Island as their destination, a small fleet of superyachts will set sail from Auckland Harbour late in the morning on Thursday 4 March for the first NZ Marine Cup.
Hosted by the New Zealand Marine Export Group (NZ Marine), the one-off race sees the beautifully-crafted superyachts SY Drumbeat, SY Shenandoah and SY Celandine as the official entries for the Kiwi Kawau Challenge.
NZ Marine chairman Mark Wightman says other superyachts presently in Auckland may sail alongside the official competitors as they head for Kawau, making for a truly spectacular sight on the Waitemata Harbour.
“The course sees the yachts start one by one off Princes Wharf in downtown Auckland from 11:30am, then they head around North Head and north up the channel between Rangitoto Island and the North Shore,” says Wightman who will be hosting sponsors and media onboard a support craft travelling alongside the yachts.
“The yachts then veer to the northeast to go between the eastern end of Rangitoto and Rakino Island, before turning northwest to the channel between the end of Whangaparaoa Peninsula and Tiritiri Matangi Island. Then they’re to the west of Motuora Island before reaching the finish line at the southern-most point of Martello Rock, a little before Kawau Island’s Bon Accord Harbour.”
The NZ Marine Cup is sailed under IRC racing rules with each yacht allocated its own start time by race director Hal Wagstaff of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
Wightman and the NZ Marine team then host the participating yacht owners, guests and crews to a Kiwi-style barbeque on the beach beside historic Mansion House. Sponsor representatives and guests, and international media also join the post-race celebration, says Wightman.
“Our sincere thanks to the NZ Marine Cup sponsors Alloy Yachts, Electronic Navigation Ltd, Events Clothing, Fitzroy Yachts, Harken New Zealand, Integrated Marine Group, the Marine Industry Association and Yachting Developments, supported by 26000 Vodka, Antipodes Water and Villa Maria Wines.
“We are also delighted to welcome Manson Anchors, North Sails and Mulcahy Engineering as partners of the event.
“The two NZ Marine superyacht challenges – the NZ Marine Cup for one-off races like this Kiwi Kawau Challenge and the regatta-based NZ Marine Millennium Cup – aim to showcase the New Zealand marine sector and our enviable reputation for quality workmanship and innovative approach to the most complex marine-related projects. With the support of our event sponsors, the NZ Marine Cup also helps profile New Zealand as an ideal destination for the many hundreds of luxury motor and sail yachts cruising the world’s oceans.”
Further details about the NZ Marine Cup can be found on the NZ Marine events website: www.nzmarineevents.com.