Miss Silver has won the first day of the New Zealand Millennium Cup on Orams Marine Race Day, leading ahead of second place Tawera by four seconds.
The forecast was rain, a rarity for the Bay of Islands, when the first race began on the morning of 29 March, officially putting the new handicap Performance Curve Scoring system to its first superyacht test.
The handicap system, which is currently being employed in its first superyacht regatta, embraces an average wind experienced on the racecourse. And with the two leading yachts finishing within four seconds of each other, race officers have expressed their happiness with this new system.
But the first day of racing signalled both the future and the past with the return of Aschanti IV, who crossed the line first in the start sequence.
The 1954 Burmester yacht returned to the Cup alongside captain Kalle Ebner, both of which having raced in the inaugural New Zealand Millennium Cup back in 2000.
However, the lead didn’t last for long with former Cup champion, Tawera moving to the front from the first mark following a higher line from the start.
Catalina and Miss Silver then rounded the first mark within one minute of each other with Sassafras trailing two minutes behind – a sequence that set the tone for a close race.
Coming down to the final mark, Tawera and Miss Silver were locked into battle before a gybe saw Miss Silver pick up more pressure close to the line. Following a corrected time, they were just four seconds apart with Miss Silver claiming the narrow lead.
Following the first day of racing, guests gathered for an evening function sponsored by Propspeed, introduced by Nona Pedersen general manager of Propspeed, with a wine tasting led by Josh Scott of Allan Scott Family Winemakers.
The second day of racing is scheduled to commence 30 March at 11am NZT, or 9am AEST.
The Notice of Race, amended sailing instructions and live updates can be found here.