EVENTS | Show & Regattas

New Zealand Millennium Cup

Photos: Jeff Brown

New Zealand is continuing its summer of sailing, after the country’s recent success defending the America’s Cup in Auckland. The New Zealand Millennium Cup kicks off on March 28, and will be the first superyacht regatta in almost a year.

Running from 28-31 March, 2021, the Cup is the South Pacific’s longest-running superyacht regatta. It was postponed from its original dates in February due to an increased Covid alert in New Zealand.

Millennium Cup Regatta 2020

Former America’s Cup luminaries are set to join the event, which is known for battles on the track, and hospitality off it, and which comes at the end of a season of racing that has been the envy of many around the world still under lockdown.

Adding to the excitement is the introduction of a brand new handicap scoring method developed for superyacht racing by the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC). This is the first time it will be used in a superyacht regatta, and takes into account the exact wind experienced by each of the competing yachts, on each leg of the course.

The new system; Performance Curve Scoring was developed as a collaboration between the race’s handicappers and competitors specifically for the NZ Millennium Cup regatta, with representatives of each yacht expressing excitement about the new method to be used in the coming week. 

“The ORC has fine-tuned its international superyacht handicap system specifically for our regatta to allow for boats of different sizes and sail configurations to race more fairly. We are very grateful for the huge amount of input from the entries and key stakeholders and are looking forward to using this new method,” says organiser Stacey Cook.

The NZ Millennium Cup’s first edition was in 2000, and it was first raced as an adjunct to the 30th America’s Cup in Auckland. The Cup has applied for Gold Clean Regatta status, in recognition of its efforts to create an event that is easy on the Bay of Islands surrounds that it’s raced in.

Sustainability efforts during the South Pacific superyacht regatta include swapping plastic water bottles for reusable alternatives, encouraging the use of biodegradable sail ties, partnering with a sustainability-minded restaurant for regatta HQ, re-using regatta promotional materials, and partnering with ocean-focused charities and sponsors.

The event can be watched live online at:

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