Royal Akarana Yacht Club has been selected as the venue for the combined world championships of the 49er (men) 49erFX (women) and Nacra 17 catamaran.
The regatta will be held in December of 2019.
The Hyundai Marine Sports Center, the new home for Royal Akarana Yacht Club, is set to open in Spring 2018, and the announcement of such a high profile event just one year after opening is a fantastic achievement for our venue.
The support of Yachting New Zealand, the Akarana Marine Sports Charitable Trust, Auckland City and other yacht clubs has been great.
There is a lot of work to be done, but that work has commenced and we will be ready to host a regatta that will set the standard for the next decade.
RAYC Sailing Director
Official media release:
As many as 400 of the world’s best sailors will descend on New Zealand next year for the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships.
The event, which will be host by the Royal Akarana Yacht Club at the new Hyundai Marine Sports Centre from November 29-December 8, 2019, is likely to be used by many countries as a selection regatta for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
It’s already something Rio Olympics 49erFX silver medallists Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are targeting, along with New Zealand’s top Nacra 17 combinations Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders and Liv Mackay and Micah Wilkinson who are both inside the world’s top 10.
“The world championships are a big deal for Molly and I and we will be aiming to win it on home waters,” Maloney said.
“It will be an amazing opportunity for the Kiwi sailors to showcase our sport at a high-level competition and it will be special to do it in front of our friends, family, sponsors and the public, including the next generation.”
It’s hoped four-time 49er world champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will compete, with the pair contemplating a defence of their 49er Olympic title in Tokyo in 2020, but they are presently focused on competing in the Volvo Ocean Race and will also be involved in the 2021 America’s Cup.
“It’s great to see an event like this come to New Zealand and Pete and I would love to be involved but we firstly need to make a decision on our futures,” Tuke said.
“We’ll take some time after the Volvo Ocean Race to work out what we do next.”
New Zealand last hosted an Olympic class world championships in 2015 with the Finn Gold Cup at Takapuna, and Torbay hosted the 2016 Aon Youth Sailing World Championships. Royal Akarana Yacht Club’s new purpose-built 3000m2 Hyundai Marine Sports Centre is due to open in September 2018 complete with dry-dock storage (dry storage), media & event space, specialised training gym and catering services.
Located at The Landings Okahu Bay and only a ten minute drive from downtown Auckland City it is an ideal location for the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships.
“This is a great chance for our club continue to its high performance sailing tradition in skiffs and catamarans and to show off our new world-class Hyundai Marine Sports Centre,” Royal Akarana Yacht Club Commodore Matt Woodley said.
“We are very pleased to be delivering this event as a collaborative team effort from all yachting and marine sports community groups, including Yachting New Zealand, the local board, Auckland council and the class associations.”
Yachting New Zealand have indicated their interest in bringing top international events to this country and chief executive David Abercrombie said hosting the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships with Royal Akarana Yacht Club was another chance to grow the sport.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase New Zealand’s yachting event delivery,” he said.
“We learned a lot on the back of the 2016 Aon Youth Sailing World Championships and this will excite some of those kids and fast track their development into 49ers, 49erFXs and Nacra 17s. We’re looking forward to working closely with ATEED, Major Events and the Royal Akarana Yacht Club. It will be great to deliver an event of this size as a first for the world class Hyundai Marine Sports Centre.”
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and New Zealand Major Events have thrown their support behind the 2019 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships and believe it will help build momentum towards the 2021 America’s Cup.
“This is a great opportunity to build on Auckland’s reputation as a sailing event host,” ATEED general manager of destination Steve Armitage said.
“It’s an opportunity to showcase not only the beautiful harbour but also the country’s boat building capacity.”
Mackay Boats are world-renowned and since 2000 their boats have won 30 Olympic medals. It’s likely they will produce a number of new builds for the world championships which will then be shipped off to Melbourne for the 2020 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships.
International 49er and Nacra 17 class association president Marcus Spillane said it was appropriate they were bringing the world championships to New Zealand.
“We are delighted to be heading to Auckland and Royal Akarana Yacht Club for the 2019 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships,” Spillane said.
“It will be the first worlds that the 49er class has held in New Zealand and it is fitting given that many of our recent champions are Kiwis.
“We are excited for what will be an excellent event and with the star power of Alex and Molly, Gemma and Jason and hopefully Peter and Blair it is sure to be followed by sailing fans around the world.”