Mat Belcher, right of trophy-holder Marcus Blackmore, and Will Ryan, bottom right, celebrate the win.

AST Sailors Triumph Aboard Blackmore Boat

By Pegaso Srl

With four line honours in six races, the Southern Wind Shipyard built SW82 Ammonite has captured the victory at the New Zealand Millennium Cup.

The New Zealand Millennium Cup featured three days of racing in one of the most picturesque cruising destinations in the world.  With courses that thread through more than 140 sub-tropical islands, beautiful scenery and challenging navigation are assured at this popular and challenging regatta.

An innovative handicap system (ISYR) ensured for spectacular racing in the Bay of Islands, with competitors finishing within minutes of each other.

Ammonite in action at the Millennium Cup.

Even though it was her first time competing at the NZ Millennium Cup, there was no stopping Ammonite, which was representing the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club of Tonga. The SW82’s tightly-knit crew included Olympic sailors Mat Belcher and Will Ryan in addition to her owner and Australian Sailing patron, Marcus Blackmore, a sailing force to be reckoned with in his own right.

Sailing strongly in all of the six races that make up this three-day event, Ammonite was confirmed as the overall winner with four wins out of six races.

“There’s no better place in the world to sail,” Blackmore said at the prize giving ceremony. “Thanks go to all the sponsors and in particular Doyle Sails New Zealand’s Mike Sanderson who helped us understand local conditions.”

Since her launch at Southern Wind Shipyard in Cape Town in 2016, this 82’ (24.86 metre) sloop has already sailed in almost all of the world’s oceans. After her maiden voyage from South Africa to the Mediterranean (7200 nm,) she crossed the Atlantic headed for the Caribbean. This past summer she cruised in the Pacific before heading for Australia and on to New Zealand.

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