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49er worlds

Hyundai 49er/FX and Nacra worlds claims major award

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Last year's Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships was an overwhelming success and that was further recognised today when it won the event excellence category at the 2020 New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards.

The awards are normally handed out at a gala dinner but that was cancelled due to Covid-19 so Sport New Zealand chief executive Peter Miskimmin visited the offices of Yachting New Zealand to personally hand over the trophy.

"It was a fantastic event and I would like to congratulate and acknowledge Yachting New Zealand and all the partners you had in that success," Miskimmin said. "What the judges particularly recognised was that it was an unbelievably brilliantly executed event. It had real innovation about it and it had an enormous legacy component to it."

The world championships were run in a joint partnership by the international 49er and Nacra 17 class associations, Yachting New Zealand and the Royal Akarana Yacht Club. There was also considerable support from Hyundai, Bayleys, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed), Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (Mbie), the Orakei Local Board, Ngati Whatua Orakei and Sky TV.

More than 400 sailors from 41 countries descended on Akarana for six days of competition last December. They were the most comprehensively covered Olympic class regatta in history, with as many as 99 of the 120 races broadcast live on Sky Sport in New Zealand and the Sideline app worldwide. 

It also recruited 265 volunteers and saw a high level of cooperation and involvement from the local community, including the local iwi, Ngati Whatua Orakei.

One of the standout features of the world championships was the environmental sustainability component to it, which was something highlighted by Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson.

"Bringing top international events like this one to New Zealand is no easy feat and you proved just how capable we are of delivering a world-class yachting event of this size," he said.

"I would like to commend you in particular on your commitment in making the world championships an environmentally sustainable one and achieving platinum status [under the Sailors for the Sea clean regatta programme] for the event. By doing so, you have demonstrated that it’s possible to deliver a world class event and do it in a way that leaves a real legacy for future events. Well done."

Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie accepted the award on behalf of everyone involved and acknowledged the contributions of the Royal Akarana Yacht Club, local organising committee, sponsors and partners, broadcasters and the team at Yachting New Zealand. 

"The real key to the success of any yachting event is down to the volunteers and to our event organisers," Abercrombie said. The people who really delivered were [event director] Peter Dawson and [event secretary] Jude Eades, who both did an incredible job.

"It was recognised worldwide as a world-class event and was something that no one else in this country has managed to do at a yachting event. Thank you to everyone who contributed to it. We really appreciate it and appreciate the recognition, too."

  • Pic (L to R): Sport NZ chief executive Peter Miskimmin, Ateed major event facilitator Monique Lawry, Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie, Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships event director Peter Dawson, Royal Akarana Yacht Club commodore Jason Morgan.