Greg Kelly of the New Zealand Superyacht Group said “Auckland normally hosts about 30 superyachts over 30m per year and hoped the Cup would lift that number to in excess of 80. The superyacht industry is expecting a big boost from an America’s Cup event should it be held here in Auckland. There are hopes the infrastructure that needs to be built to cater for the growing number of superyachts will be permanent to cater for an ever expanding market.”
Auckland is known as the City of Sails, with 1 in every 3 households owning a boat. Earlier in the year, 60m/197ft luxury charter yacht SEAHAWK was one of the superyachts that underwent maintenance at the Auckland facilities before spending the summer cruising in the South Pacific.
Managing director of Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ, Duthie Lidgard, said he believes now “with the Pacific becoming more of a tourist and cruising destination more boats will continue to make the effort to travel to New Zealand and with the extra added bonus of the cup many will make the journey down.”
Grant Dolton, Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, announced that the boat will be the AC75 Class and will be a 75-foot- high performance monohull, with more details on the design concept to be released by the end of March 2018.
The Bay of Island north of Auckland is home to spectacular secluded tropical beaches and one of the world’s best dive sites: UNESCO World Heritage Site Poor Knight’s Island. Wildlife lovers have the opportunity to see some of the planet’s most unique and endangered species in their natural habitats, including Little Blue Penguins, whales, dolphins and Green Turtles and Leatherback Turtles.
There is plenty to do away from Auckland region, with Hawke’s Bay down the east coast home to one of the nation’s largest and oldest wine regions, offering picturesque countryside and wine-tasting less than minutes away from the Art Deco town of Napier.
The Abel-Tasman region between the north and south islands has plenty of islands for time spent sun-bathing on a secluded beach, while the South Island’s Fiordland National Park has a moody and mystical ambiance with waterfalls and glowworm caves.