Since its first edition in 2000, the New Zealand Millennium Cup has become a focal point for yachts in the Pacific. With a strong line-up of local as well as international sponsors for next year’s regatta, this focal point is spreading to create an industry gathering point in the yachting centre of the Pacific.
New Zealand’s Millennium Cup recently opened applications for sponsorship and response from the industry has been positive.
Local industry companies have once again aligned with the regatta, which acts as a focal point for global industry to turn their attention to, in the peak New Zealand cruising season.
While many of these well-known industry names are regularly seen offshore on the show circuit and at international regattas, this is their chance to entertain owners, guests, crew and industry on their own turf and with their own uniquely Kiwi brand of hospitality.
Adding to local sponsorship, international brands have been keen to be a part of the successful regatta and in doing so align with the growing luxury yacht charter activity seen within the Asia Pacific region. OCEAN Independence is one of the regatta’s silver sponsors, and the Auckland office will also provide support as the official onsite agent of the regatta.
Gold sponsors of the regatta are Alloy Yachts, Far North Holdings/Port Opua and Smuggler Marine, while silver sponsors include Doyle Sails, OCEAN Independence, Yachting Developments, Robinson Interiors and Southern Spars.
“OCEAN Independence is one of the world’s largest superyacht sales, charter and management companies, with bases in 16 worldwide locations, including Auckland. The Millennium Cup presents an opportunity for the OCEAN Independence Auckland team to support a local New Zealand event and to meet with the passionate supersail yachting community, naturally building awareness of our services and expertise in New Zealand and beyond,” says Julia Simpson, OCEAN Independence PR and events manager.
New Zealand yard, builder of race entry, superyacht Janice of Wyoming, Alloy Yachts has signed up to sponsor the Cup once again.
“For Alloy Yachts, the Millennium Cup gives us the chance to meet with existing and potential clients on home soil. The Cup always has a very relaxed, Kiwi vibe, with polished hospitality and we enjoy showing the global visitors where we come from and how we do things. It’s always a thrill to see our yachts out on the course, too!”
Southern Spars’ Paul MacDonald, agrees.
“Southern Spars are excited to once again sponsor the Millennium Cup which will be sailed alongside the Southern-sponsored Bay of Island’s Sailing Week. The company has been involved with the Cup since the first edition in 2000 when we saw a huge fleet of superyachts race across the Hauraki Gulf to Kawau Island.
“The regatta represents the strong superyacht industry in New Zealand which Southern Spars are proud to be a part of and we feel that the relocation to the majestic Bay of Islands will revitalise the regatta to its glory days. The NZ Millennium Cup has proven to be a successful event in both Europe and New Zealand in previous years, and Southern are looking forward to being part of the 2015 event which will see over 65% of the current entry list sporting Southern Spars rigs,” says MacDonald.
Chairman of the Cup committee, Stuart Robinson says sponsoring the Cup delivers multiple benefits to brands.
“Sponsoring the NZ Millennium Cup does several things for a company who chooses to be involved – it associates the brand with the South Pacific’s premier superyacht regatta.
Along with that brand-building and recognition, sponsoring the Cup creates opportunities for direct contact with owners, captains, crew, other sponsors and the like in a relaxed environment; creating a space for global relationship-building with a New Zealand ethos.”
The regatta is well-supported by local and international suppliers with Mount Gay Rum, Allan Scott Wines, On Fire Design and Coast New Zealand all working to ensure guests receive an exceptional regatta experience.
The regatta runs from the 21-23 January in New Zealand’s beautiful Bay of Islands, and will once again be handicapped to ISYR by Jim Teeters, to ensure close-fought, fun racing. Organised by the NZ Marine Export Group, the regatta is complemented by a range of onshore hospitality events, and runs concurrently with New Zealand’s biggest domestic regatta; Bay of Islands Sailing Week, delivering an unbeatable atmosphere of camaraderie to overseas guests.
Returning to the race are Janice of Wyoming, charter yacht Bliss and superyacht Silvertip; all veterans of the race who’ve experienced first hand the New Zealand Millennium Cup experience and who are looking forward to battling it out once more for supremacy. Entries to date also include five-time circumnavigator, luxury yacht Silencio. The 50-metre Perini Navi comes fresh from a run of successful regattas which include taking third in class at this February’s St Barth’s Bucket and victory in the 2013 Perini Navi Cup.
Joining her is 34.2-metre Royal Huisman yacht Sassafras, with new EC6 carbon rigging by sponsor Southern Spars. The sloop was designed by Fontaine-Hood for comfort over long distances as well as power under sail, and organisers are very much looking forward to seeing that power demonstrated as the fleet weaves through the Bay of Islands.