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"Good racing, great cruising grounds, exceptional hospitality" - The Millennium Cup now looks to sustainability.

Caroline Blatter

The first superyacht regatta in almost a year is looking to add another string to its bow as it reaches for new sustainability credentials. 

The New Zealand Millennium Cup kicks off in under a month - when the regatta begins on 15th February, it aims to lead sustainability efforts in global Superyacht Regattas.

The Cup has applied for Gold Clean Regatta status, in recognition of its efforts to create an event which 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.

Platinum sponsor, Orams Marine likewise has a focus on the health of our oceans, installing an industry-leading water treatment system in its Auckland superyacht yard. The multi-layered system ensures water used during yacht refit, as well as yard stormwater runoff, is free of contaminants. An in-built water treatment plant separates and treats wastewater and stormwater collected across new hardstand and covered work areas now under construction. The Orams Marine team worked with sustainability experts prior to the build’s start, with the goal of setting a new shipyard industry standard of discharge water quality, protecting the Waitematā Harbour and New Zealand’s environment longterm.

Gold sponsor Benetti also has its own focus on the environment. 

“Benetti is deservedly proud of its heritage of delivering beautiful, reliable, technologically advanced and innovative yachts, ideal for partaking in adventures to the most exciting corners of the world and now with a growing intelligent approach to sustainability.”  says  Peter Mahony, APAC General Manager at Benetti Yachts.

North Sails of gold sponsor duo North Sails and Southern Spars, was the first sailmaker to aggressively pursue more sustainable manufacturing processes, and it continues to put its expertise to work to pursue a more sustainable production footprint. 

“Our Second Lap project is a commitment by the North Materials division to substitute, where possible, viable “upstream” raw materials from recycled sources when manufacturing sails and components,”  says Tom Davis, head of North Sails’ North Materials.

"Working with a partner in Sri Lanka, North Sails is producing polyester fibre from discarded PET bottles. This new material is in trials to be used as webbings, cordage, and the woven material used to make our iconic sail ties and blue sail bags. The bottles used in this new material are sourced in Sri Lanka and woven at the North Sails Sri Lanka manufacturing loft, minimising the transport of the plastic itself.”

The regatta takes place in Northland’s pristine Bay of Islands, where fellow gold sponsor, Bay of Islands Marina features two modern, solar-powered recycling centres, with a sustainable approach which includes recycling water for boat washdowns.

Running from 15-17 February, 2021, the NZ Millennium Cup regatta has become a stand-out event on the world superyacht circuit, featuring a relaxed, warm approach to hospitality and fiercely competitive racing. 

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. Now, with the 36th America’s Cup approaching, organisers have been excited to see an increase of interest both in the regatta and in New Zealand’s wider cruising grounds.

The notice of race and entry forms are now available at millenniumcup.com or by contacting stacey@nzmarine.com.

                                                        The Superyacht Services Guide in DIGITAL, PRINT & ONLINE.   

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