The race centre will be situated in the former Alinghi base in the Viaduct basin. The event has a lucrative $US100,000 prize pool and looks to be an annual event for the next five years. This man-on-man format raced in identical yachts creates the ultimate sporting challenge.
Auckland City Mayor Dick HUBBARD and the organizers of the inaugural Auckland Match Racing Cup are predicting the event will bring significant benefits to Auckland and New Zealand.
Event organizer Dave STEWART, who is general manager of Springs Promotions, said similar events overseas had resulted in benefits to host countries many times greater than the amount invested.
'The indirect and direct benefits of tourism and public involvement around a match racing event are notable throughout the world. Bermuda alone estimates the event there delivers around $US9.7 million ($NZ14.3 million).
'In Tauranga, the 2003 Around Alone stopover of 22 days had an economic impact of $16.4 million according to a Bay of Plenty Impact Report.'
Mayor of Auckland City, Dick Hubbard, said the event was set to become an annual highlight of Auckland's event calendar bringing sustainable economic benefits to the region.
'The Auckland Match Racing Cup is set to become a significant part of the international yachting calendar. Events like this are important to Auckland, for their ability to reinforce the positive reputation generated by previous international regattas such as the America's Cup and our world-class marine sector.
'I am confident that the Auckland Match Racing Cup will become a substantial event attracting considerable direct and indirect expenditure from a variety of sources including racing teams, sponsors, spectators, international media and visitors.'
The ten confirmed skippers and teams are:
1. Sebastian COL (FRA), K-Challenge
2. Chris DICKSON (NZL), BMW Oracle Racing
3. Dean BARKER (NZL), Emirates Team New Zealand
4. Ed BAIRD (USA), Alinghi
5. Bertrand PACE (FRA), BMW Oracle Racing
6. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR)
7. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA)
8. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN)
9. Magnus HOLMBERG (SWE), Victory Challenge
10. Cameron APPLETON (NZL), K-Challenge