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22 December 2005, 11:17 am
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Auckland Match Racing Cup 2006
Auckland, New Zealand

The City of Sails is back on the world sailing scene with the Auckland Match Racing Cup - a prestigious ISAF Grade 1 sailing battle which will take place on the Waitemata Harbour this summer. From 25-29 January 2006, New Zealand will once again see the world's most talented sailors and skippers in town - including Ed BAIRD (USA) of Team Alinghi and New Zealand's Dean BARKER - to race in the biggest yacht race New Zealand has seen since the America's Cup.
Hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the Auckland Match Racing Cup is the first event on the 2006 international match racing calendar. The event will take place between the Viaduct Harbour and the Harbour Bridge, near the former America's Cup bases.

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
7. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA)
8. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN)
9. Magnus HOLMBERG (SWE), Victory Challenge
10. Cameron APPLETON (NZL), K-Challenge

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF)
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