Auckland has a rich maritime history, tell us what makes this region perfect for the America’s Cup as well as a charter destination for superyacht owners?
Auckland has a big inner harbour and a large protected gulf which is ideal for yachting. Aside from being a sailing paradise, it is incredibly accessible. The entrance into the inner Auckland harbour and the view of the Rangitoto Island, a volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, is truly breathtaking. We really are excited to share these spots with superyacht owners who will be visiting for the America’s Cup in 2021.
Likewise, we will have other events taking place the same year as the America’s Cup. The superyachts’ racing for the Millennium Cup and the Junior’s America’s Cup will be complementary events to the Cup. 2021 is also the year in which New Zealand chairs the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation organisation (APEC) again, and leaders will be coming from around the Asia-Pacific rim to Auckland.
Every year the America’s Cup brings a fleet of superyachts which berth there. What does the region of Auckland offer in terms of infrastructure?
Auckland has geared up twice before as host of the Americas Cup racing and it will gear up again. When hosting in the early 2000s, there was a lot of redevelopment so that Auckland could accommodate the bases and provide services for the competing yachting teams as well as for the visiting superyachts.
For the next Americas Cup, there will be an expansion of the berthing infrastructure and of refit facilities. There is a cohesive cluster of companies in the marine services sector. Close to Auckland there is a training facility for masters and other skills relevant to sailing super yachts. New Zealand also has legal and other structures which are friendly to visiting superyachts to come to the region.
How do you see the America’s Cup evolving New Zealand as a superyacht hub?
You really can’t overestimate what hosting the America’s Cup has done and will do for Auckland. It has contributed to making the city an international destination with luxury hotels, bespoke real estate, and fine dining.
In tourism, the best strategy is to prioritise value over volume. New Zealand is not trying to compete with crowded Mediterranean destinations or oversaturated European cities. We have good infrastructure, crime is low, and we operate in a global language.
The country as a whole offers a wide range of experiences for visitors from our subtropical North to our sub-Antarctic south. Take our West Coast with glaciers terminating very close to the coast. Whether you enjoy wine tasting, golfing, canyoning or eco-tourism, New Zealand has something for every superyacht owner and charter guest. Its versatility and beauty are its appeal – along with our legendary Kiwi hospitality!
How important are operational partners like BWA Yachting in ensuring the support of captains, crew and superyacht owners when berthing in Auckland for the America’s Cup?
The support from BWA Yachting is huge. They offer a comprehensive and holistic service that superyachts truly rely on. From provisioning and bespoke itineraries to practical elements such as customs and immigration when visiting during the America’s Cup, they are every superyacht owner’s port of call. After Emirates Team New Zealand won the Cup again in Bermuda, superyacht owners would have begun discussing their plans to visit.