Jul 17, 2018 Boat World

One of only seven ‘Royal Yacht Squadrons’ in the world, RNZYS plans to celebrate its birthday with a full year of on- and off-water events.

Says Rear Commodore, Aaron Young: “The 150-year legacy is worthy of more than just one event at one time, so we’re marking this with a year of celebratory events and occasions, the pinnacle of which will be the hosting of the 36th America’s Cup. The stars have aligned – it will be a huge year for us.”

RNZYS has established a 150th anniversary committee to orchestrate the event. Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf will be centre stage for a series of sailing spectacles. The committee is working closely with Emirates Team New Zealand, along with central and local government agencies, as well as various supporting associations such as NZ Marine.

The line-up of events is yet to be confirmed but will kick off with the New Year’s Day Regatta at Kawau Island that is tipped to attract the attention of visiting superyachts who already have Auckland firmly within their sights over this period.


• Great Barrier Island cruising race/rally from Kawau and Auckland – that will include superyachts (and potentially J Class yachts)

• Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

• America’s Cup 36 (December 2020 through March 2021)

• 12m Class – many of these are ex-America’s Cup boats such as the famous Kiwi Magic – KZ7

• The Classic Yacht Associations of NZ and Australia have been invited to participate

• An offshore race from Australia (Sydney) arriving mid-January 2021

• An offshore race to Australia from Auckland – early June 2021 to join the Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island regattas

• National or world match-racing regatta – RNZYS has won the rights to host World Youth Match-racing regatta in 2020, so this will be an evolution of that event

• RNZYS Youth Training Program (YTP since 1987) Graduate and Alumni Regatta – the world’s most successful youth training sailing programme has more than 1,000 graduates, many of whom have competed internationally

• A Trans-Tasman regatta between Australian and NZ’s leading yacht clubs – 10 clubs competing in NZ with sailors aged 40 to 60 years

• Navy Regatta – international navies have been invited

• Auckland Regatta – Auckland’s premier keelboat regatta

• International Council of Yacht Clubs (ICOYC) regional conference – Asia-Pacific region

• The Squadron Ball

• Royal NZ Navy and Sir Peter Blake Trust youth leadership and conservation exercise

• The final act of the year will see the publishing of a 150th anniversary book (currently being put together by Ivor Wilkins).

• Onshore, visitors to RNZYS will enjoy an array of land-based entertainment and celebratory events.

Formed in 1871, the RNZYS was granted royal patronage by the British Admiralty in 1902 and with it the right to fly the blue ensign. The RNZYS is the official home of the America’s Cup after Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), representing the RNZYS, won the oldest sporting trophy in the world at the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017.

For more information contact Hayden Porter – RNZYS General Manager on 0272 222 556 or email