New Zealand’s oldest sporting event – the Auckland Anniversary Regatta – will be held again on Monday 30th January, 2023, and organisers are inviting boaties to be part of history in the making by entering the forthcoming 183rd edition of the regatta.
“There aren’t many sporting events ordinary people can take part in that boast so much history and prestige,” says Regatta Chairman David Stone.
“This regatta is even older than the America’s Cup, and has the most wonderful documented history dating back nearly two centuries, so for those who enter it really is a chance to be part of history in the making.”
The iconic event that first took place as an impromptu rowing race on the Waitemata, on the day the City of Auckland was founded in 1840, has grown into one of the world’s largest one-day regattas. Hundreds of competitors take to the water each year to compete in races under sail, steam and paddle power, in celebration of Auckland’s birthday.
Entrants will vie for a top spot on the podium in one of 47 different divisions, classes or races planned to take place throughout the day. These include races for classic and modern sailing vessels, launches, tugboats, sailing dinghies, foiling craft, paddlesports and even radio controlled yachts.
Since the very first regatta, a cash prize purse made up of entry fees has been put up for grabs. While that tradition continues to this day, it’s the regatta’s historic trophy collection that is most coveted by the event’s participants.
“There are over 60 trophies in the collection, and over 20 of them date back to the 1800s,” says David. “ Some are even made of solid silver, just like the America’s Cup. It’s a very special honour to have your name engraved on one.”
The whole collection is valued at nearly $100,000, and is on permanent display at the Maritime Museum. For watersports enthusiasts who long to see their own names immortalised in the same place as their heroes’, the Auckland Anniversary Regatta gives them a chance to do just that.
“Just imagine how it would feel to have your name on a trophy in the same place that houses the Sir Peter Blake collection. That’s the sort of opportunity this event gives you, so it’s very special in that way,” says David.
And even for those who don’t make the top of the podium, the event’s official media team will be out on the water documenting all the action, with photos and videos of the day forming part of the regatta’s extensive archive from the last 183 years.
The diversity of the event, which takes place at venues across the city, is part of its ongoing popularity with spectators too. Grabbing a picnic and heading to one of many viewing points around the city to watch the action is an age-old tradition among Aucklanders, and one that still holds its appeal today.
Further information for entrants and spectators can be found on the website at www.regatta.org.nz, along with the Notice of Race and online entry form for those keen to come along and be part of history in the making.
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