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The South Pacific Cup


Keelboat & Ocean Racing Committee


MEDIA RELEASE

From: Jodie Bakewell-White
Date: 28th February 2008

The South Pacific Cup
A New International Challenge Teams Trophy At
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

Yachting has a new international challenge team trophy – the South Pacific Cup.

It will be launched at this year’s 25th Anniversary Edition of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, which will be staged from August 23 to 30.

Initially it should see teams of three yachts from Australian and New Zealand racing for recognition as the top ocean racing nation at the regatta, however interest in taking part has also been expressed from groups in the USA, England and Hong Kong for future years. It is likely that some of these international owners will charter local yachts instead of shipping their boats to Australia.

The competition has been designed along the lines of other well-known international team events, like the prestigious Admiral’s Cup in England and the Kenwood Cup in Hawaii.

Australian Olympic and world championship winning yachtsman, Iain Murray, who is the commodore of Hamilton Island Yacht Club, said the decision to establish the South Pacific Cup came in response to increasing international interest in Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. He said that the design of the trophy will be symbolise the prestige that will be associated with the contest.

“This is another very exciting development for Race Week,” Murray said. “This year we are going to see a return of the great Trans Tasman rivalry Australian and New Zealand sailors have enjoyed so much in the past, and in the future there will be other foreign teams competing.

Enthusiasm for the South Pacific Cup is building in New Zealand. Ray Haslar, one of that country’s most prominent offshore yachtsmen and a former ‘New Zealand Sailor of the Year’, is propelling the concept on that side of the Tasman. It is likely that the New Zealand IRC Nationals will be designated the selection regatta by Yachting New Zealand.

“It’s more than 20 years since New Zealand sent a national team to Australia for an international series, so what better way to get things going again than with the South Pacific Cup at Hamilton Island,” Haslar said. “We have some very good yachts lining up for our team and we are expecting some excellent racing to decide the holder of the cup.”

New Zealand selection information will be published as soon as possible on the Yachting New Zealand website: www.yachtingnz.org.nz

All regatta information will be available shortly on the website: www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au

ends

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