Three new superyacht entries, Pumula, Cavallo and Farfalla, have entered the 2017 New Zealand Millennium Cup (24-27 January), signalling a further boost to local marine businesses and a positive impact on the wider economy.
Launched by Royal Huisman in 2012, 37m Pumula won the World Superyacht Award’s Sailing Yacht of the Year in 2013, and has already voyaged 52,000nm around the globe, from Spitsbergen to Antarctica, and Cape Horn to Alaska.
Pumula is currently on her way from Polynesia, a return for captain Michael Van Bregt but a first for the yacht's owner, following a recommendation from another new entrant, 42.9m Cavallo built by Baltic Yachts.
For Cavallo’s captain, Jake Reid, this also marks a homecoming, “I grew up sailing in the Bay of Islands and skippered Thalia in previous NZ Millennium Cup editions,” says Reid.
Cavallo will also be available for charter in New Zealand after the Millennium Cup in January, then in Fiji from April 2017.
The third new entrant is Southern Wind's 31m Farfalla, which has spent the past season cruising the Pacific. Captain Richard Chadburn is delighted to be taking part, saying, "As this event is the greatest superyacht regatta in the southern hemisphere, we had little choice but to join in! Since the start of our journey through the Pacific we’ve had countless sailors recommending that we compete in this wonderful regatta and I’m very happy to now be apart of it.”
NZ Millenium Cup's growing popularity
The success of the NZ Millennium Cup was initially driven by vessels visiting New Zealand for the America’s Cup, and its reputation has been steadily growing on the international circuit as a regatta that more than justifies the trip there.
"NZ Marine saw an opportunity to run an event that showcased our cruising grounds further – an event that encapsulated why the journey was worth the effort,” says Ian Cook of gold sponsor, Yachting Developments.
Craig Park of platinum sponsor, Orams Marine adds,
“Interest in the NZ Millennium Cup at the recent Monaco Yacht Show was palpable. It was a pleasure to hear captains reminiscing about the unique spirit of the Cup and their experience of New Zealand - notably 2015 winner Silencio. We are proud to be a part of an event that we can see grow in its new location in the inimitable Bay of Islands.”
A boost to the local economy
As with many high profile regattas the event also has a hugely positive impact on the local and marine economies.
”The NZ Millennium Cup definitely brings in work for Doyle Sails.' says New Zealand’s superyacht sail co-ordinator Matt Bridge.
Craig Park agrees, saying, “We see the NZ Millennium Cup and the natural deadline it sets as an excellent way to sea trial work after going through a refit period. This has been particularly true of Janice of Wyoming, where work we have undertaken has been specifically in preparation for the NZ Millennium Cup.”
Speaking about the wider economy, Tania McInnes, deputy mayor of Far North District Council, says
“Along with spectacular racing, the economic injection into our local communities is also very much appreciated. The Bay of Islands is focused on growing our visitor market. We want our visitors to leave with lifelong memories, having had a thoroughly enjoyable and authentic experience. This event helps showcase the area and all the magic it has to offer."
About the NZ Millenium Cup
Since it began in 2000, when 70 yachts raced to Kawau Island, the NZ Millennium Cup has been a focal point for superyachts in the Pacific. The three-day event (24-27 January 2017)is organised by the NZ Marine Export Group and a committee of New Zealand's leading industry figures to deliver a celebration of great racing in beautiful cruising grounds with exceptional hospitality.