In 2021 the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron home of the America’s Cup, will reach a major milestone in turning 150 years old. To celebrate reaching this milestone, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron will be hosting an array of events on and off the water. We look forward to sharing with you, in the coming months, our calendar of events and how you can get involved in celebrating with us.
One of only seven ‘Royal Yacht Squadrons’ in the world, The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) will celebrate an illustrious history spanning 150 years in 2021. The year coincides with its hosting of the 36th America’s Cup regatta and a full year of on and off water events planned.
Formed in 1871, The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s sesquicentenary marks a legacy of world-class performance that is globally unrivaled in sailing history. As the proud winner of all of the major International yachting trophies, including winning and successfully defending sailing’s most coveted prize, the America’s Cup. The RNZYS has a heritage that the whole of New Zealand can be very proud of and are invited to take part in during 2021.
Vice Commodore of the RNZYS, Aaron Young, says “the 150 year legacy of the RNZYS is worthy of more than just one event at one time, so we are marking this with a year of celebratory events and occasions, the pinnacle of which will be the hosting of the 36th America’s Cup. The stars have aligned for a huge year for us”
To ensure that the sport and the various associations are represented as widely as possible during this auspicious year, the RNZYS has established a 150th anniversary committee who have been charged with rolling out a series of exceptional events and regattas. Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf will be center stage for a series of sailing spectacles, the likes of which will not have been seen before and are sure to capture the attention of visitors and enthusiasts from around the globe. The committee are working closely with Emirates Team New Zealand along with central and local government agencies, as well as various supporting associations such as NZ Marine to assist. RNZYS also plan to invite other local and international clubs to not only assist but also participate in the various activities throughout the year.
“New Zealand is certainly the place to be in 2021 and visitors to Auckland during this time are in for a treat like never before when it comes to celebrating our rich sailing heritage,” says Mr. Young.
The lineup of events is yet to be 100 % finalized but will be launched with the New Year’s Day Regatta at Kawau Island that is tipped to attract the attention of visiting superyachts who already have Auckland firmly within their sights over this period.
Other events will include:
- Great Barrier Island cruising race / rally from Kawau
- Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta
- Prada Cup / Challenger Series – January – February 2021
- Americas Cup 36 will run from March 6, 2021 – Emirates Team New Zealand will represent the RNZYS.
- J Class (120 ft plus classic racing yachts) will have their own regatta in Auckland during the America’s Cup period as well attending the Millenium Cup in the Bay of Islands
- A few of the 12M Class ex-America’s Cup boats such as the famous Kiwi Magic – KZ7 are looking at coming to Auckland
- 52 Super series – an invitation has been sent to the fleet inviting them to New Zealand for two regattas
- Classic Yacht Association NZ and Australia have been invited by RNZYS
- Offshore race from Australia (Sydney) arriving early February 2021 run in conjunction with Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC).
- Offshore race from Auckland to Queensland – early June 2021 to join the Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island Regattas
- National or World match racing regatta – RNZYS have won the rights to host World Youth Match racing regatta 2020 currently so this is an evolution of this event.
- RNZYS Youth Training Program (YTP since 1987) graduate and Alumni regatta – the world’s most successful youth training sailing programme has had over 1500 graduates, many of whom have or currently compete at the highest level internationally.
- A Flag Officer Trans-Tasman regatta between Australian and NZ leading yacht clubs – 10 clubs competing in NZ with 40 – 60 sailors (non-youth)
- Auckland Regatta – Auckland’s premier keelboat regatta
- The Squadron Ball
Due for release in October 2021. A 150th Anniversary Book currently being put together by Ivor Wilkins as author – this record will include all the events of 2021.
Onshore, visitors to the RNZYS will enjoy an array of land-based entertainment and celebratory events in what General Manager Hayden Porter describes as a “celebration of our sailing and a maritime history that is unmatched anywhere in the world.”
2021 will be an extraordinary year for New Zealand; the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand in what we are sure will underpin another 150 years of success on the water going forward – imagine what the America’s Cup will look like then!