Millennium Cup looks to the future as 2019 dates confirmed
by Chris Jefferies
The world’s most southerly superyacht regatta will return for an 11th edition in 2019, it has been confirmed, after the New Zealand Millennium Cup issued its notice of race. The Bay of Islands will play host to a spectacular fleet of sailing yachts from January 30 to February 2, 2019, one week later than usual.
To accommodate an anticipated surge in interest due to the upcoming 36th America’s Cup in Auckland, the organisers of the New Zealand Millennium Cup have changed the format of the regatta in order to allow a larger fleet to race on a new, more challenging course.
“We’re already receiving entry enquiries; not just for 2019, but 2020 and 2021 as well,” says event organiser Stacey Cook. “The J Class Association has also accepted our invitation to race in 2021 [shortly before the 36th America’s Cup] and we know having the strikingly elegant classic yachts race alongside the New Zealand Millennium Cup [entrants] will add an extra dimension to our racing.”
The America’s Cup connection dates back to 2000, when the Millennium Cup was founded as an accompaniment to the last Auckland showdown. Former America’s Cup principle race officer, Harold Bennett will return in 2019 to lead the race committee with inventor of the ISYR rule, Jim Teeters, handicapping the event.
Six yachts went head to head for the cup earlier this year, with first-timer Ammonite coming out on top. Upon lifting the main prize, owner Marcus Blackmore declared, “There’s no better place in the world to sail.”
Boat Internationalis the official media partner of the New Zealand Millennium Cup and will be covering the regatta in detail.