The 2017 Millennium Cup is under way in New Zealand's Bay of Islands
There was a delayed start to the 2017 Millennium Cup but eventually the wind picked up and the boats were able to get off the line. The bay was soon awash with colour as the Bay of Islands Sailing Week kicked off, with yachts ranging from TP52s to fast catamarans and everything in between competing to get off the mark.
A Downwind first leg showed off the spinnakers to full effect, and then finally at 12.45 it was time for the Millennium Cup to start. Tawera was first off to join the rest of the yachts already battling their way round the course, before being followed by Janice of Wyoming and Pumula. Next off was Millennium Cup stalwart Silvertip, then Farfalla and bringing up the rear, newcomer Cavallo starting at 14.30.
With a breeze of around 15 knots the superyachts were off and hitting good speeds. At the famous Ninepin Rock, one of the course marks, a battle was playing out between Farfalla and Silvertip. A strong leg by Farfalla enabled them to squeeze out Silvertip, forcing them to sail too close to the rock to be able to round it without first putting in a tack, mere metres from the cliff. Further down the course Cavallo was struck with spinnaker issues, allowing Farfalla and Silvertip to pull away.
After four hours of racing, the boats were back and crossing the finish line, with Tawera taking line honours and Farfalla taking fastest elapsed time, beating Cavallo by less than a minute. In second place was Janice of Wyoming, with Pumula in third, Farfalla in fourth, Silvertip in fifth and Cavallo in sixth.