“If you do just one regatta this year, make it this one.”
That’s the message from Ports of Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta organisers, as they gear up for the 180th edition of the much-loved event on Monday, 27 January 2020.
With the Notice of Race published and entries now officially open, organisers are encouraging Aucklanders to grasp the opportunity to take part in this iconic event.
“The regatta has always been an event for all Aucklanders,” says Executive Officer Joyce Talbot. “It’s a chance to get out and celebrate and be part of history, whether you’re on the water or watching from the shore. People have such fond memories of their parents taking them to watch the races on Anniversary Day, and that’s a tradition we’d love to continue.”
The regatta, which celebrates the founding of the City of Sails by encouraging Aucklanders to take to the water under sail, steam and paddle power, predates the America’s Cup by 11 years.
“People look at the America’s Cup as a very special, historic event,’’ says Talbot, “but they often forget we have just as much history right here on our doorstep. The Auckland Anniversary Regatta is so closely tied up with the history of the city and its boatbuilders, and it’s really how Auckland became known as the City of Sails.”
The very first Auckland Regatta was held on the day Lieutenant Governor William Hobson’s officials raised the flag, on 18 September 1840. It was an impromptu, three-race event that took place after Hobson’s representatives rowed ashore from the barque Anna Watson and took formal possession of the site in the name of Queen Victoria.
A century later the regatta had grown to become the world’s biggest one-day regatta, showcasing Auckland’s boatbuilding and sailing expertise around the globe. The event remains one of the biggest by number of participants, with over 600 boaties expected to take part in the 2020 regatta.
The regatta typically attracts a huge fleet of vessels including tall ships, gaff riggers, racing keelers, multihulls, sailing dinghies, radio-controlled yachts, waka ama, elegant sea scout craft, perfectly restored classic yachts and launches, and an armada of tugboats.
Spectators can watch from vantage points around the city’s waterfront, including Westhaven, Queen’s and Captain Cook Wharves, Tamaki Drive, Bastion Point and North Head.
For more information visit: www.regatta.org.nz