top of page

The inagural Harbour Classic comes to fruition.

What started out as an idea has now come to fruition. The inaugural Harbour Classic starts on Friday 31st March with a welcome party followed by race day on Saturday April 1st 2023.

Based on the famous Barcolana Regatta in Trieste, Italy - holder of the Guinness World Record as the largest regatta in the world - the Harbour Classic takes place on a 14 mile four-sided fixed mark course. The starting line sits off North Head, runs along the north shore beaches to Torbay, finishing back at North Head through the Rangitoto Channel.

“I guess what’s unique about this race is that everyone starts on the same line at the same time. It’s basically a sprint to the finish” says Greer Houston, Commodore of New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club, organisers of the race. While this might put the wind-up people’s sails, safety is paramount, which is why all boats will motor right up to the start line.

Greg Roake, NZMYC committee member knows all about that. He competed in the Barcolana Regatta in 2008 and won! “It was the most spectacular thing I have been involved in” says Greg. “The adrenalin rush of being one of thousands of sail boats on the start line while waiting for the cannon shot to start the race is an experience like no other."

This year will see a much smaller fleet take to the Harbour. “Like any new event, it takes time to build and time for people to get used to anything outside the norm” says Houston. “Our aim is to bring Aucklanders back into the Harbour, inviting expert sailors, sailing lovers, enthusiasts, and your simple family yachts to race side by side. We want Kiwis to enjoy a spectacle, get amongst the atmosphere of a sailing village and get back to celebrating the City of Sails. And one day we want to put New Zealand on the world stage by breaking the current world record of 2689 boats on a starting line – why not!”

Added to the uniqueness of the event is the ability for all competing yachts to berth at Jellicoe/North Wharf. “It’s not often you get to moor your boat right in the Heart of the City, says Houston, “a real bonus for those who don’t have moorings within Auckland Harbour. It also means you are just metres from our venue partner Wynyard Pavilion and a plethora of bars and restaurants.”

With a fleet of 25 boats and one week to go, organisers are thrilled with the turn out. “The Coastal Classic started with 12 boats and everyone thought they were mad, now it draws one of the largest group of participants and is a must do race on the sailing calendar. We’re thinking one day the Harbour Classic will be the same.”


bottom of page