A major new yacht race from Auckland to Bluff will start on
Waitangi Day in 2014.
The race, known as the A2B, will be the longest ocean race to
start and finish in New Zealand, taking place over an 1100
nautical mile course. The annual race will start in Auckland,
head north to round Cape Reinga and travel south along the
west coast of New Zealand.
It has received support from the Cruising Yacht Club of
Australia, an organisation which has been running the Sydney
to Hobart race for 67 years.
It is hoped that competitors in the Sydney to Hobart race
will also compete in the A2B.
The Government has backed the event, contributing $440,000.
Economic Development minister Steven Joyce said it was an
excellent opportunity to show why New Zealand's marine sector
was among the best in the world.
"It will help foster business connections and provide
extensive broadcast opportunities to promote New Zealand as a
premier sailing destination across our key tourism and trade
markets," he said.
"This Government investment will help this new concept become
an iconic, home-grown sailing event."
The first race, held on February 6, 2014, will be capped to
30 boats, due to limited space at Bluff, but that number
could be increased to 50 for following years.
It will be run by Auckland's Royal Akarana Yacht Club.