Fleet And Match Racing On Hauraki Gulf In February
America's Cup International Regatta Confirmed
Fleet And Match Racing On Hauraki Gulf In February, 2003
America's Cup challengers from North America, Great Britain and Scandinavia will compete with Team New Zealand in a week long international regatta between February 11-17, 2003.
The One World Challenge from Seattle, Britain's GBR Challenge and the Victory Challenge from Sweden have all accepted invitations to race with Team New Zealand in the America's Cup International Regatta.
The xxx day international format supercedes the previous Road to the Cup Regattas in which challenging syndicates were invited to match race in a pair of older Team New Zealand yachts – NZL10 and NZL12 from the 1992 San Diego campaign.
"The International format is entirely new and very different. This will be a world-class event with the challengers competing in their own yachts and Team New Zealand racing NZL60, the winning yacht in 2000," said Team New Zealand Executive Director Tony Thomas.
"At the Jubilee Regatta in Cowes during August we raced against other America's Cup Class yachts in a mixtures of fleet racing and match racing. New Zealanders will see a different style of racing and we plan to finish with a longer fleet race along the East Coast Bays of the North Shore and a finish under the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
"It will combine of the open waters of the Hauraki Gulf with the confines of the inner Waitemata Harbour and if we get the right conditions, we could get a spectacular spinnaker run in front of the City and under the Harbour Bridge," said Mr Thomas.
With the possibility of the British team racing two yachts, there could be five America's Cup Class yachts competing in the fleet racing, compared with the two normally paired together on the Hauraki Gulf for America's Cup Match racing.
Tourism New Zealand will be hosting up to 50 international journalists – many of them from travel and lifestyle publications in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. It is also planned to invite representatives of daily regional newspapers throughout New Zealand.