With many confirmations surrounding the America's Cup in 2021 being made, superyachts are beginning to plan their cruise south to time it with the exciting event.
Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, Grant Dalton, confirmed that the boat will be the AC75 Class and will be a 75-foot-high performance monohull. The design concepts of which will be published by 31st March 2018.
Greg Kelly of the New Zealand Superyacht Group said “Auckland normally hosts about 30 superyachts over 30m per year and hoped the Cup would lift that number to in excess of 80. The superyacht industry is expecting a big boost from an America's Cup event should it be held here in Auckland. There are hopes the infrastructure that needs to be built to cater for the growing number of superyachts will be permanent to cater for an ever-expanding market.”
Managing director of Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ, Duthie Lidgard, said he believes now with the Pacific becoming more of a tourist and cruising destination, more boats will continue to make the effort to travel to New Zealand and with the extra added bonus of the cup many will make the journey down.”
"With the average vessel now up over 55m in length, the boats are adventuring more and New Zealand always seems to be part of their bucket list. We are already in talks with several vessels three years ahead of planning their trip to New Zealand and the win has increased interest in cruising and chartering in New Zealand waters," said Lidgard who ventured to Bermuda to watch the Cup earlier in the year.
With another event of this kind held in Auckland there would definitely be a need for a new major development to ensure sufficient infrastructure, base facilities for challengers and new berths for visiting superyachts and Lidgard believes these changes will definitely occur. “In the last 15 years since the last cup, cruising outside of the normal Mediterranean/Caribbean run is becoming more normal than the exception. The rise of Expedition Style motor yachts is creating a long-range cruising environment and the Pacific is still offering untouched cruising grounds”.
''For the last four years our marinas have been at near maximum capacity for the superyacht visitation each summer, the America’s Cup coming to New Zealand will definitely see a much needed boost for the local industry over the coming years."