After three days of racing in the Bay of Islands, sailing yacht Kawil has been crowned the winner of the 2020 New Zealand Millennium Cup. The 34.14 metre Derecktor superyacht, which was delivered by the US shipyard in 2000, was a brand new entrant to this year's competition.
While participating in the world’s most southerly superyacht regatta, Kawil was challenged by four other sailing yachts hoping for first place. Excellent performances from Silvertip, Sassafras, Janice of Wyoming and Adele ensured exhilarating racing throughout the three-day regatta. Second place was awarded to the 54.6 metre Vitters sailing yacht Adele.
The final day of the regatta captivated the audience from the start. The 33.83 metre Silvertip and 34.2 metre Sassafras both displayed well-timed runs to the start line while Janice of Wyoming sailed so close to the starting line that she crossed two seconds early, incurring a penalty for the 39.72 metre competitor.
As the yachts headed into the wind, Silvertip took a lower approach than the rest of the fleet, then sharply turned her bow towards the Boat International Ninepin Mark. Kawil was out in front from the start and, despite speculations from spectators that she had overshot the mark, the crew showed off their skills with perfect turns. Kawil was challenged by her fellow competitors throughout the event, but their efforts could not keep her from clinching the Cup.
The prize giving ceremony was officiated by Peter Montgomery MBE and the prizes were presented by Orams Marine’s managing director, Craig Park, and Royal Huisman’s sales manager, Bas Isselman. Commenting on the event's conclusion, Silvertip's owner called the regatta "extraordinary" and stated that "it’s fantastic fun to be here in the Bay of Islands.”
Despite just missing out on the winner's prize, Adele had her taste of victory in the Cup's traditional skiff regatta. Taking place after the second day of racing, the superyacht crews rowed in pursuit of the 20 litre barrel of Mount Gay Rum prize, which Adele's Team A took home.
Alongside the exciting racing, onlookers at this year's regatta were entertained by the appearances of a local dolphin pod as well as the beautiful scenery of the racecourse. Peter Montgomery described the setting as a paradise, commenting: “If this isn’t heaven, then it’s just next door”.
The 2021 edition of the New Zealand Millennium Cup regatta will be raced between February 15-18. With hoards of superyachts heading to New Zealand for the 36th America’s Cup, next year's regatta is already expecting over 40 entries.
All images courtesy of Jeff Brown/Breed Media.