Tawera (RNZYS) takes the Millennium Cup 2017 after a dominant display of sailing

Tawera, impeccably sailed, again dominated a lengthier 27nm course on day three of racing, taking line honours for a third consecutive day and bringing home the NZ Millennium Cup 2017.

Assured of generous sunshine, blue skies and the promise of good winds, the race committee selected a lengthier 27nm course that would see competitors round the extremity of the Nine Pin twice and flit past both Motuterakihi Island and Whale Rock.

Coming into the final day of racing, Pacific Division competitors, Antaeus and Steinlager 2, were tied on points. Rumours of an extensive tactical defence strategy to retain the Pacific Cup emerged from Steinlager 2’s camp after the skippers briefing.

With an even tighter handicap than the day prior in place for the Mark Foy start, Tawera and Antaeus, again nailed faultless starts – an underlined statement of the race to come.

The honour of best start in the series, reserved for the final day’s racing as confirmed by the race committee’s Dennis Corbett, was, however, Cavallo’s. Galloping over the start within a half second of the gunshot, it was clear to see the starting practice runs she had committed to over the week had paid dividends.

Silvertip then Farfalla, gave chase – both harnessing the wind to drive out into the mouth of the Bay.

Racing on the day was marked by a thrilling series of combative boat-to-boat tacking duels spread out across the Bay.

Approaching the Nine Pin, a bout of jousting between Silvertip and Cavallo left spectators white-knuckled. Both on a starboard tack with Cavallo to weather, the VHF crackled to life as Silvertip’s skipper, Blair MacLeod, called out to Cavallo to give room in order to avoid the glittering grey hull running aground on the craggy rocks of the headlands. Giving a hair’s breadth of room, Cavallo tacked first to round the Nine Pin, pushing Silvertip to the outer lane as they passed the iconic landmark. As they stormed out to Red Head Bouy, Antaeus passed them returning to the Nine Pin after successfully rounding Red Head, holding a lead on Steinlager 2 that still reflected the approximate 20 minute starting handicap.

Just as Silvertip surged in front of Cavallo, a sudden burst of colour punctuated the skyline as Cavallo’s red, white and blue kite broke into two.

Another fiercely contested tacking match between Pumula and Janice of Wyoming took place and later Pumula was pulled in by Farfalla approaching Motuterakihi Buoy.

But no kind wind in favour of the remaining fleet could foil Tawera in her pursuit of line honours and ultimately series win of the NZ Millennium Cup nor Antaeus in taking out line honours and series win of the Pacific Cup.

At the prizegiving held in the evening at the historic Duke of Marlborough, famous for entertaining rascals and reprobates since 1827, Antaeus’ part-owner, Charles St. Clair Brown, commented, “the wind gods were kind to us, and Steinlager 2were especially gracious in letting us slip away”.

Janice of Wyoming took second place in the last race, securing the prestigious second place in the NZ Millennium Cup, with Farfalla third in the last race also securing third in the overall series.

Platinum sponsor Orams Marine’s managing director, Craig Park, took the dais and thanked long-term competitors, Antaeus, Steinlager 2, Silvertip and Janice of Wyoming, while New Zealand’s greatest yachting ambassador, Peter Montgomery (MBE) took the opportunity to thank the visiting yachts for their contribution to another excellent edition of the NZ Millennium Cup, the third held in the beautiful Bay of Islands. To crown the proceedings, competitors toasted world-renowned designer Ron Holland, technical advisor aboard Holland-designed Tawera, in advance of his 70th birthday.

As a focal point for both the local industry and for the global brands looking for more exposure in Asia Pacific, the NZ Millennium Cup has welcomed a number of sponsors on board, including platinum sponsor Orams Marine, and gold sponsors Smuggler Marine, Far North Holdings – Bay of Islands Marina, Doyle Sails New Zealand and Yachting Developments.

Silver sponsors include OnFire Design, Breed Media, COAST New Zealand, Events Clothing and Southern Spars/North Sails.

Thanks also goes to Tourism NZ, Propspeed, Holton Marine, Robinson Interiors, McMullen & Wing, Power Equipment, Q-West and Lancer Industries. We also extend our thanks to suppliers, Rogue Society, East Imperial, and Mount Gay Rum, alongside our media partners Superyacht World and Ocean Media.

 

TAWERA TAKES LINE HONOURS ON DAY TWO OF THE MILLENNIUM CUP

Dominating an exciting 21nm short course that saw competitors round the Nine Pin twice and wind changes challenge seasoned tacticians, Tawera has again taken line honours

Crossing the line 11 minutes in advance of her closest challenger, the Pacific Division’s Antaeus, Tawera commanded racing on NZ Marine Race Day of the 2017 New Zealand Millennium Cup.

“With a healthy ten knot southerly at the start, but forecast to swing around 180degrees to the north, today was always going to be testing for the tacticians and helmsmen,” said Peter Busfield, CEO NZ Marine Export Group.

That southerly wind, an outgoing tide and a 300metre wind shadow in the lee of a looming cruise liner anchored 200-metres from the start line, presented a unique set of conditions that allowed no margin for error.

First and second over the Mark Foy start, Tawera and Antaeus, set the tone of their race as they reached past the committee boat hoisting their spinnakers for faultless starts. Their dual finishes of first place in their respective divisions, the NZ Millennium Cup and Pacific Cup, was a credit to the tactical nous of the skilled sailors onboard.

Third over the start, Pumula, fell foul of the wind shadow, languishing on the start line. Seeing an opportunity, Janice of Wyoming deftly slipped around her windward side and bucked forward – stealing any remaining wind Pumula may have had. Cowboy gennaker unfurling, Janice of Wyoming strode out in front.

Starting within three minutes of one another, Silvertip, Cavallo and Farfalla nailed starting manoeuvres that saw each hoist their spinnakers as they crossed the starting line. Grappling against one another for an early advantage, intense match racing ensued between Tapeka Point and Roberton Island.

Flitting across the water in a series of artful moves befitting her name, Farfalla (‘Butterfly’) edged past Silvertip to windward and Cavallo to leeward, gaining buoy room at the Orams Marine mark.

Striking out toward the craggily majestic Nine Pin from the mark, Cavallo showed her speed and overtook Silvertip.

As a helicopter buzzed around the great rock, schools of Trevally, Kawhai and Mao Mao dancing on the surface, the wind suddenly emptied from the mouth of the Bay. Farfalla, Cavallo, Silvertip and Pumula, two minutes between them, fought through an area of little breeze. Janice of Wyoming wasn’t safe either, becalmed with the four yachts closing in behind her, while ahead Steinlager 2 approached the next mark, already rounded by Antaeus and Tawera out in front.

New entrants in 2017, Farfalla and classically-elegant Pumula, benefitting from a new whisper of wind, closed in on Janice of Wyoming, passing the seasoned campaigner as they moved toward Motuterakihi Island Buoy.

As the glassy water shifted, and white caps began to appear from the building northerly seabreeze, Tawera, hull newly painted white, could be seen glistening in the distance, as well as Antaeus’ distinctive red kite looming closely behind her. Having already rounded the Nine Pin for the second time, they were on the home straight.

Harnessing the change in conditions, America’s Cup campaigner and Silvertip’s tactician Tom Schnackenberg guided her from last position to second, leading a radically reordered following fleet comprised of Farfalla, Cavallo, Pumula and Janice of Wyoming.

Farfalla gained buoy room on Cavallo at the Motuterakihi buoy, only to lose her lead on the larger yacht as Cavallo took the inside track immediately past the buoy. However, going into the Nine Pin for the last time, Farfalla overtook Cavallo once more.

In a close duel, Farfalla, biting at Silvertip’s tail, was kept in check on the home run by way of an aggressive defence strategy, until a decision by Silvertip to split gybes saw Farfalla gain the lead when they met again. Farfalla cinched second place in the Millennium Cup division, closely followed over the line by Silvertip, and Steinlager 2 in the Pacific Cup division.

Cavallo finished sixth ahead of Janice of Wyoming, who overhauled Pumula in the race for the finish.

The battle for the Pacific Cup is now tied between Antaeus and Steinlager 2 ,as they go into day three of the regatta.

As a focal point for both the local industry and for the global brands looking for more exposure in Asia Pacific, the NZ Millennium Cup has welcomed a number of sponsors on board, including platinum sponsor Orams Marine, and gold sponsors Smuggler Marine, Far North Holdings – Bay of Islands Marina, Doyle Sails New Zealand and Yachting Developments.

Silver sponsors include OnFire Design, Breed Media, COAST New Zealand, Events Clothing and Southern Spars/North Sails.

Thanks also goes to Tourism NZ, Propspeed, Holton Marine, Robinson Interiors, McMullen & Wing, Power Equipment, Q-West and Lancer Industries. We also extend our thanks to suppliers, Rogue Society, East Imperial, and Mount Gay Rum, alongside our media sponsors Superyacht World and Ocean Media.

 

TAWERA TAKES LINE HONOURS ON DAY ONE OF THE MILLENNIUM CUP 2017

The first day of the world’s most southerly superyacht regatta, saw Tawera take line honours, on a bright, breezy day of racing.

Reigning champion, Tawera, crossed the line first today on the Orams Marine Race Day of the 2017 New Zealand Millennium Cup.

The 28-metre ketch secured her win with New Zealand sailing icon, Chris Dickson, and her designer Ron Holland onboard, giving owner and experienced helmsman Mike
Mahoney the tactical edge.

Handicapped to International Superyacht Rule (ISYR) by Jim Teeters, Tawera’s Mark Foy starting position saw her followed by 37-metre Pumula and then returning campaigner Janice of Wyoming; who stormed between two visiting cruise ships before crossing the start with dolphins leaping across her bow.

The Bay of islands has become Silvertip’s hunting ground, and hunt she did; crossing the start smoothly and setting off in pursuit of the three yachts in front of her. In pursuit of her were Farfalla and Cavallo; rated by the handicap as the fastest yachts in the fleet.

“What else could we ask for,” said North Sails’, Richard Bicknell, sailing on Janice of Wyoming. “It was perfect. Once the breeze kicked in we had up to 17 knots of breeze at times – it was great racing.”

Rounding the Orams Marine buoy, 43-metre Cavallo showed a quick turn of speed as she closed on Farfalla and Silvertipdown to the next mark.

Silvertip took an inside line while Farfalla tacked to seaward as they headed for the Nine Pin. Approaching the mark, there was little between them, with a daring manoeuvre from Silvertip seeing her cut sharply in to the landmark. However it was Farfalla who carried the breeze and emerged in the lead as they pulled away from the Nine Pin.

Farfalla successfully covered Silvertip to the Motuterakihi buoy in a close duel.

“The breeze was a lot stiffer than forecasted and it made for some great racing. It was fantastic to see the race between Farfalla and Silvertip,” says Orams Marine’s Craig Park, who’s looking forward to seeing individual yachts use the changing conditions to their advantage with lighter breeze forecast throughout the rest of the week.

Out in front, Tawera was rounding the Red Head and heading for the Orams Marine buoy for the final time, with Janice of Wyoming’s distinctive bucking bronco gennaker visible on the horizon as she pursued her fellow returning campaigner.

Pumula was crossing the Bay towards the Red Head with Janice of Wyoming in her sights, and flanked by the Pacific Division’s Steinlager 2.

Onboard Pumula, Doyle Sails New Zealand’s, Matt Bridge was racing as technician. “The day went really well, we got lucky with the downwind legs. The wind shifted to a higher angle than we’d seen in the morning, which meant that not having a spinnaker wasn’t such a disadvantage to us.”

With Tawera already around the final mark and heading for home, the fleet was dotted across the Bay behind her. Pumulaled Farfalla, Silvertip and Cavallo back from the Orams Marine buoy to the final mark. Janice was already rounding the mark, letting that distinctive gennaker fly again, while Antaeus led her Pacific Division-mate, Steinlager 2 around the mark.

Janice of Wyoming made up time on the last leg, but she couldn’t quite catch Tawera who crossed the finish two boat lengths ahead. Behind Janice came Steinlager 2, having overhauled Antaeus to come home first in the Pacific Division. Pumula was third across the line in the Millennium Cup, beating Farfalla by seconds, before Silvertip and Cavallo came thundering home.

“It was a classic Bay of Islands day – dolphins in the bow wave, and a breeze of between seven to 17 knots from the northwest providing passing lane opportunities for articulate technicians as they navigated around the course,” says Peter Busfield, CEO of the NZ Marine Export Group.

As a focal point for both the local industry and for the global brands looking for more exposure in Asia Pacific, the NZ Millennium Cup has welcomed a number of sponsors on board, including platinum sponsor Orams Marine, and gold sponsors Smuggler Marine, Far North Holdings – Bay of Islands Marina, Doyle Sails New Zealand and Yachting Developments.

Silver sponsors include OnFire Design, Breed Media, COAST New Zealand, Events Clothing and Southern Spars/North Sails.

Thanks also goes to Tourism NZ, Propspeed, Holton Marine, Robinson Interiors, McMullen & Wing, Power Equipment, Q-West and Lancer Industries. We also extend our thanks to suppliers, Rogue Society, East Imperial, and Mount Gay Rum, alongside our media sponsors Superyacht World and Ocean Media.

www.millenniumcup.com 

 

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