New Zealand Millennium Cup 2019 Recap
- Commercial & Superyacht
On Saturday, 2 January, the 2019 edition of the New Zealand Millennium Cup wrapped in Russell, Bay of Islands, with three fine days of racing and two races scheduled each day. This year’s field included two newcomers, Freya and Thalia, plus returning vessels Silvertip, Tawera and Sassafras. Janice of Wyoming, who finished fourth last year, was slated to compete but was forced to drop out at the last minute.
Newcomer 'Thalia' had a challenging day 2 but won the final rum race and came in 3rd overall.
Twenty-eight-meter Tawera, a custom-built alloy yacht designed by the renowned Ron Holland, became a three-time champion, winning four of five races to clinch the Millennium Cup title. (Wind delays on Day 3 scuttled the sixth race.) First-timers Freya and Thalia put
in a strong showing, finishing second and third overall, while Sassafras, despite a promising start, was unable to complete the regatta due to technical issues that set in after the first race.
- Tawera – 7 points
- Freya – 10 points
- Thalia –16 points
- Silvertip – 19 points
- Sassafras – 27 points
On Day 1, moderate to strong winds and flat seas provided ideal conditions for the first race, a 10.67 nm course starting from Tapeka Point. First over line was Freya, though due to the ORC / handicap she landed in second place behind Tawera; Silvertip and Sassafras battled it out for third and fourth place, with Sassafras narrowly beating Silvertip. Thalia, who had the largest handicap, at 26 seconds, came in fifth but handily won 25.05 nm Race 2, followed by Freya and Tawera
She wasn’t so lucky on Day 2, first jumping the gun and then missing the start line, as Tawera and Freya sailed into first and second place in both races, both of which were delayed due to light winds. An evening skiff race at Russell Beach gave her the chance to redeem herself, however; Thalia easily won the final rum race, which included a row-off between the three fastest teams for a barrel of Mount Gay rum.