Day two of the New Zealand Millennium Cup dawned bright and sunny with a forecast for a light southerly moving to the east and rising to 20 knots in the afternoon. Stretching across 26nm, the course for Ocean Media Race Day made the most of the striking surroundings and waters of the Bay of Islands yacht holiday destination.
With the previous day’s points chalked up on the scoreboard the competitive spirit was running high as the yachts lined up to take their start. The starting order was very similar to day one and once again Silencio was first over the line at 11:30, followed by sailing yacht Antaeus at 12:13, Steinlager 2 at 12:29, superyacht Janice of Wyoming at 12:44, luxury yacht Sassafras at 12:47, charter yacht Bliss at 12:55 and finally Silvertip yacht at 13:02.
By the time Silvertip crossed the line the breeze was already building, with the latter half of the fleet speeding towards Roberton Island, trying to catch Silencio already far off in the distance. By the time the majority of the fleet had rounded the mark, Silvertip and Bliss had moved ahead and were pushing to catch Janice of Wyoming in front of them, with Sassafras close behind.
In a real demonstration of the spirit of the Millennium Cup operating side-by-side with the Bay of Islands Sailing Week, an exciting half hour on the course came as the superyachts rounded the Ninepin Island mark amongst a fleet of racing 52ft TP52’s. Skillful navigation saw all boats, big and large, safely round the mark and on their way.
As predicted, the breeze continued to build as the race drew towards its conclusion. At the front of the fleet Silencio was holding her lead, with Steinlager 2 steadily gaining. After rounding the final mark, Motuterakihi Island Buoy, it was the final charge for the finish. Steinlager 2 took line honours and first place in the Pacific Division, but once again it was Silencio that crossed the line to take first place in the Millennium Cup racing.
Third on the line was Antaeus, for second place in the Pacific Division. Next to cross was Janice of Wyoming claiming second place just three minutes after Silencio. Having stuck close to each other throughout the race, Bliss and Silvertip finished just 27 seconds apart, taking third and fourth place, with Sassafras closing the race in fifth place.
The evening’s social schedule took a more relaxed form, with the Millennium Cup and Bay of Islands Sailing Week joining together for the Southern Spars sponsored drinks and barbeque on the Opua harbour side.
With two races complete the scoreboard after two days is now incredibly close. Silencio sits in first place with two points, with Janice of Wyoming, Bliss and Silvertip tied on six points apiece and Sassafras on 10 points. In the Pacific Division, with one win each Antaeus and Steinlager 2 are tied on two points. Racing concludes tomorrow and the close scoreboard ensures that every maneuver and course gain will count in the final push for the Cup.