Over three days, Kawil has taken control of the Bay of Islands regatta course at the at NZ Millennium Cup; her crew reading conditions well, maintaining slick crew work, and making strong tactical decisions helping the Derektor yacht to secure the win.
The rest of the fleet was determined not to give Kawil an easy win though, as the final day of racing began. Right from the start on Royal Huisman race day, competitors set their intentions with strong starts.
Silvertip, and Sassafras impressed, timing their runs to the start line with perfection. Local yacht Silvertip was accompanied to the line by her cheer squad, the local dolphin pod. Janice of Wyoming sliced close to the signal boat – and close to the start line – so close in fact that she incurred a penalty as she crossed two seconds ahead of her start time.
Heading upwind, Silvertip took a lower approach than the rest, then turned her sharp knuckle bow towards the mark. But once again, Kawil showed her class, leaving Sassafras and Silvertip behind her.
From there it was kites up and they were off – heading back to the orange mark before Silvertip was off, out in front as they headed for Moturoa Island, then back into the darker waters of the Bay towards the Boat International Ninepin Mark for the second time.
Behind her, Adele had already tacked, searching for wind in the middle of the Bay. Despite Silvertip’s brilliant performance, it wasn’t enough to hold off newcomer Kawil on corrected time and the latter was named 2020’s NZ Millennium Cup champion.
Peter Montgomery MBE officiated the prize giving ceremony. As platinum sponsors Orams Marine’s managing director, Craig Park, and Royal Huisman’s sales manager, Bas Isselman, presented first place to Kawil and second to Adele.
The 2020 regatta was raced from 28 January to 1 February and organisers will now turn their attention to the bumper 2021 edition. Conservative estimates among the competitors present say to expect 40 or more yacht entries – a spectacular sight on the Bay of Islands waters.
With the number of superyachts heading to New Zealand for the 36th America’s Cup – both motor and sail – the NZ Marine Export Group will also host a superyacht fishing competition from 11 – 13th February, before the NZ Millennium Cup 2021 14 – 18 February.