Sponsor Story: Kiwi Luxe hospitality with SKYCITY

Located in the heart of Auckland’s CBD, SKYCITY is New Zealand’s biggest tourism, leisure and entertainment company and has a reputation for hosting excellence. SKYCITY Auckland is a bustling place, with dining, attractions and a calendar of exciting events. Along with the tallest building in New Zealand – the Sky Tower – SKYCITY boasts world-class hotels and an entire precinct of activity, including award-winning restaurants. The Federal Street precinct is a particularly popular hub for food and beverage, in a buzzing environment.

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It is no surprise that SKYCITY is the host of choice for visitors looking for a luxury experience in Auckland, with superyacht visitors regularly being welcomed by the SKYCITY team. At The Superyacht Gathering the SKYCITY team will be partnering with the opening party and showing their incredible vision for Kiwi Luxe hospitality, injecting a local flavour into the event and showcasing their warm welcome.

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“There’s so much going on here at SKYCITY Auckland for you to enjoy,” say the SKYCITY team. “Dining, entertainment, activities and more on offer, day or night. Let us entertain you!”

Take a look for yourself with these videos of the SKYCITY precinct.

Welcome to the incredible SKYCITY

SKYCITY Grand Presidential Suite

Sponsor Story: Experience Unforgettable Auckland

Over the past years and decades Auckland has grown to become a real superyacht hub, with greater and greater numbers of yachts seeking out the delights of the city and its many yachting amenities. As a luxury destination, Auckland combines all the elements for an incredible visit. Secret beaches, vineyards, culture, hospitality, incredible food and wine and much more. It is no surprise that Auckland is such a popular destination – both by sea and shore.


The Superyacht Gathering will be the perfect opportunity to showcase Auckland’s many appeals, with the three-day programme encompassing many of Auckland’s biggest draws. Guests will enjoy a real flavour of Auckland, including local culture, world-class yachting facilities, a warm Kiwi welcome and the cosmopolitan setting.


Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and the city of Auckland have invested longstanding support and time into encouraging greater numbers of yachts to visit Auckland and experience its offerings. “Auckland is the hub of New Zealand’s marine sector with more than 65 per cent of the country’s industry based in the region,” says Steve Armitage, ATEED General Manager. “Attracting high-spending superyachts provides us with not only a platform to showcase Auckland as a destination but to also highlight the region’s marine sector capabilities particularly as we work towards hosting the 36th America’s Cup in 2021. 


ATEED is hugely supportive of superyacht visitors and of their huge contribution to the local economy, acknowledging that, “Superyacht visits bring in millions to the regional economy.” ATEED’s contribution and support of the local superyacht sector has proved invaluable, helping to position the city as a must-do destination for superyachts and grow visitation numbers. “ATEED has spent the last five years developing key relationships involved with the superyacht market including owners, investors and international superyacht brokerage houses and it’s fantastic to see these efforts paying off,” says Armitage. “It’s particularly exciting to hear that so many of the owners of these superyachts have visited and toured New Zealand this summer, experiencing our local cuisine and produce, embarking on a range of tourism experiences and enjoying our local hospitality or manaakitanga.” 

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As the Summer season of 2018/2019 draws to a close, our superyacht visitors leave full of praise for their time in Auckland and the experiences they have shared in the city. Come, visit, experience and see for yourself just why the city is so special.

Sponsor Story: Experience the extraordinary with Heletranz

Owned by Sofia and John Ambler, Heletranz is a family-run business that has built a reputation as one of New Zealand’s best helicopter service providers, even flying former US President Barack Obama during his 2018 visit to New Zealand.


Pioneers of Heli-Fishing and Heli-Dining in the Auckland region, Helentranz specialises in creating luxury, tailored solutions both in and around Auckland and Waiheke Island and further afield, always creating bespoke itineraries for their guests. Over the years they have worked with many superyacht clients during their time in the country, always working to the Heletranz mantra of ‘experience the extraordinary’. There is no better way to appreciate the sheer beauty and scale of New Zealand than from the air, and with the Heletranz team and their fleet of high performance helicopters, guests are in good hands.  

Heli Fishing on Kawau Island

Heli Fishing on Kawau Island

Join us as we take a glimpse into life as a Chief Pilot at Heletranz Helicopters.

What does a typical day involve at Heletranz?

We have an early wake up and start, as machines need to be pulled out and cleaned inside and out. This is done everyday, whether we are fly VIP overseas guests on a multi-day NZ tour or a scenic flight over the city. We never settle for any less than excellence. The beauty, and challenge, of this job is that no day is like the other. Last year we spent three days flying former US President Obama and his entourage around golf courses and five star lodges and then our next job was helping a 90-year-old grandma into the helicopter to tick another box on her Bucket List – she was supported by 20 family members who all came to cheer her on, having a picnic in the office while she went around the Sky Tower. I really like that we offer something for everyone, from a $199 seat on a scenic to a $299,000 itinerary flying around NZ.


Where is your favourite place to fly?

New Zealand is so spectacular and so there are so many favorite places, but finding a little slice of God's own all to yourself and being surrounded by NZ’s stunning nature is so special. Great Barrier Island is a favorite spot for a swim or a spot of fishing. Waiheke Islands is so popular… sometimes I just wish it was me getting out of the heli walking 20 meters to enjoy a glass of wine and some gourmet  kiwi food, but I always have to take off again….

Auckland itself has so many hidden treasures – we are privileged to live in this special city. There are also so many awesome places further afield too. It does not happen as often, but I love flying over Abel Tasman and the rugged West Coast of the South Island.

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To create your own custom Heletranz experience, Sofia, John and the team look forward to working with you to create the extraordinary.


Sponsor Story: Burgess - industry innovators

Since Burgess’ beginnings the company has built a reputation for innovation, and for driving many of the superyacht industry’s most important changes. The first CA listing, the first charter brochure, founder members of MYBA, the first Technical department, the first full-service offering, the first series build with Amels, the first office in Asia and more… truly, their mark has been left on the industry in so many positive ways.

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Today, innovation and thinking in new ways is still at the heart of all that Burgess does. “We have been leading the superyacht industry for over 40 years and it’s a theme that still drives us, with recent forward-thinking projects including the hybrid propulsion system on board our recently delivered new build, 109-m BRAVO EUGENIA,” says Jonathan Beckett, CEO of Burgess.  

This approach includes thinking of new and positive ways for owners to enjoy their boats, with one avenue being Burgess’ championing of eco and conservation charters, particularly in the South Pacific. Helping to preserve the oceans for future generations, while interacting with the water in a meaningful way, has become a speciality of the Burgess charter team. London-based Burgess broker Sophie Holmes has been a particular supporter of this, working together with ocean conservation charities and creating low-impact yet spectacular experiences. These include taking charter clients on diving excursions with the not-for-profit company SeaLegacy, letting them enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences with a range of extraordinary marine life, while also learning about measures being taken to ensure their protection and survival.

Exploring the deeps in a memorable way.

Exploring the deeps in a memorable way.


“Burgess is a big advocate of raising awareness and support for the preservation of our beautiful oceans,” says Sophie Holmes. “The Burgess Blue Oceans programme has actioned several initiatives in the way we work and the messages we send, such as going plastic-free at boat shows; our Technical Services team is making significant improvements to help construct more eco-friendly yachts and the Charter team is actively promoting inspirational eco-friendly charters.”

Sophie Holmes

Sophie Holmes

Just like The Superyacht Gathering’s experience-based approach, Burgess understands how important it is to many of their clients to have meaningful and important experiences that give back and do good as well as providing enjoyment. “Forward-thinking charter clients are not only looking for first-class service and luxurious on-board amenities, they are showing a growing awareness of the need to preserve the natural beauty of our oceans,” explains Sophie. “Increasingly clients appreciate not just the majesty, but also the fragility of the ecosystem at the heart of our industry. We need to find ways to protect it without losing the ability to enjoy it and to share the wonder we all feel.”

Once again Burgess is leading the charge for positive change within the industry. The Superyacht Gathering is proud to be on this journey with the Burgess team.

Sponsor Story: Port Denarau Marina – the Pacific’s premier superyacht facility

With more and more superyachts responding to the allure of the pristine South Pacific, numbers of yacht visitors to the region are growing by the year. In 2017 over 665 visiting yachts and 65 superyachts arrived to enjoy Fiji’s stunning setting. At Fiji’s Port Denarau Marina yachts can be sure of a warm welcome, with world-class facilities including 20 superyacht berths for yachts up to 85-metres. Recognised as the International Marina of the Year 2015-18 by the Marina Industries Association, Port Denarau Marina is an award-winning facility, with a relaxed luxury vibe that perfectly complements Fiji’s warm welcome to its visitors.

Cruising up through clear blue waters towards Port Denaura Marina, visiting yachts are greeted by the friendly Marina team, including General Manager Cynthia Rasch. The marina is home to over 56 private berths, with 20 dedicated superyacht berths, complemented by all-modern facilities. These include maintenance facilities, the nearby Denarau Yacht Club and a busy hub of shops and restaurants. Visiting yachts can benefit from the marina team’s extensive yachting knowledge and customised recommendations for all the highlights of Denarau and the wider cruising grounds in Fiji.


Port Denarau’s success has been in large part due to the hard work of Nigel Skeggs and the Skeggs family who were central in the development of Denarau’s marina facilities. With a background working on superyachts, on arriving into Fiji Nigel set about developing the existing marina infrastructure, making use of his experience to build a marina to cater exactly to the demands of superyachts. This focused approach worked, and today Port Denarau Marina is a world class facility, perfectly suited to those yachts with a spirit of adventure who choose to venture to the incredible cruising grounds that Fiji and the wider South Pacific has to offer.

And there is plenty on offer. From clear blue waters, teeming with sealife, white sand beaches, a rich culture, fresh local dishes and more, the appeal of Fiji is endless. Welcome to Port Denarau Marina, a true yachting paradise.


Sponsor Story: The Spirit of Individuality with Royal Huisman

For the team at Royal Huisman, their goal is simple. To create beautiful custom yachts, always tailored to the individual client. Founded in 1884, the yard has evolved from building wooden working boats to become an award-winning superyacht builder with more than 330 craftsmen and women on the team. With a reputation for breaking the mould, their yachts are an extraordinary blend of 21st century technology and innovation, traditional craftsmanship and timeless value.

Part of the evolution of many of Royal Huisman’s yacht designs has been a growing thirst for adventure amongst their owners, with more and more clients seeking yachts that are crafted for exploring the world. The yard has relished the challenge of creating yachts that are able to see and experience the world in a new way. 

“Sailors tend to be adventurous people with a curiosity to see the world: individuals who know instinctively that the best possible way to encounter the wonders of the planet is by sea. Better still, from aboard your own yacht,” says the yard. “Despite this the Mediterranean and the Caribbean remain among the most popular sailing destinations for cruising yachtsmen. Yet the rewards of more distant regions can be so exceptional that the effort of reaching them will be repaid many times over, throughout a lifetime. We are increasingly seeing this belief reflected in the visions of our clients. So many of our owners enjoy global sailing and many of our yachts have undertaken thousands of miles to all corners of the world. New Zealand, the North West Passage, Alaska, Asia, the Galapagos and more.”

Some of Royal Huisman’s adventurous fleet, profiled on the Royal Huisman Instagram feed. Including Twizzle in New Zealand and French Polynesia, WISP in Norway, Pumula in Fiji and Athena in Alaska

As a fully custom yard, Royal Huisman prides itself on creating yachts that match these discerning individuals with exceptional expectations. Understanding the evolving ways that owners use, engage with and experience their yachts is at the heart of the yard’s approach, and what helps Royal Huisman to keep yachts that lead the market.  

Above all, no matter what the brief of each client, they Royal Huisman team relishes the challenge of building projects that are truly unique. Their tag line says it all.

“If you can dream it, we can build it.”

Learn more by visiting www.royalhuisman.com


Sponsor Story: The taste of New Zealand with PCL Marine

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” -Virginia Woolf

For Alice Brodie, Business Manager at PCL Marine, no two days are the same. One morning might see her visiting growers and suppliers, with a superyacht chef, the next taking a tour of PCL Marine’s own butchery. Working directly with New Zealand’s marine sector – including visiting and locally based superyachts, and superyachts cruising the wider South Pacific – Alice’s passion is connecting superyachts with the best of local and international fare, and engaging them with where their produce is coming from. It’s about making what we offer an experience in itself.

Alice Brodie at work

Alice Brodie at work

PCL Marine – part of parent company The Produce Company – has been working with superyachts for nearly 15 years. Working as the supplier for the lion’s share of Auckland Top 50 restaurants, it was inevitable that superyachts would soon get wind of the company as a source of the best provisioning in New Zealand. From there things spiralled, and the PCL Marine division is now entirely dedicated to supporting the niche marine sector and the demands of its discerning clientele.


“We want visiting superyachts to understand the full scale of what we offer and that we are a full service superyacht provisioning agency… we have our own butchery, sell beverages, caviar, truffles, guests’ favourite brands from home, as well as showcasing the best of NZ food and beverage,” says Alice. “New Zealand’s food industry offers premium quality, award winning artisan producers, with a focus on health and wellbeing”.



Providing beautiful high-quality produce tailored to yacht use, is a key goal, with the list of the tantalising products on offer seemingly endless. “We offer superb quality handpicked 55-day aged beef, TeMana Lamb, award winning free range sausages and beautiful NZ game – wild sheep, rabbit, goat and deer. I have discovered the best cured venison, beef and lamb products New Zealand has to offer, we work closely with NZ’s only organic chicken supplier and also communicate directly with fishing boats and seafood suppliers to cater to any guest and chef specifications.”

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With an intimate knowledge of New Zealand’s produce, Alice is a true believer in listening to client’s wish list and then engaging them with the local specialities including site visits to key producers. This helps yacht chefs create bespoke menus that have been tailored around the best of the incredible produce on offer. “We really want to help the superyacht chefs tell a story about New Zealand’s flavours and offerings via our food,” says Alice. “Food and beverage is such a crucial part of the overall superyacht experience and it’s a privilege to work with superyacht chefs to create something memorable and uniquely New Zealand.”

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This approach pays, with visiting superyachts hailing PCL Marine as their one stop shop.

‘If you come down to The South Pacific, PCL Marine is just the best. We have been cruising the region for the last three years and wherever we were, they always made it happen; Taihiti, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, even Palau, and of course Auckland. Each island has their own challenges, but if you give them enough time, they can pretty much make anything happen.’ Chef Eric- MY DRAGONFLY.


Sponsor Story: Crafting the trip of a lifetime with Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ

The team at Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand specialise in helping visiting superyachts make the most of their time in New Zealand. Assisting with all the yacht’s needs – from fuel to phones – other offerings include creating premium custom itineraries for yachts, both onshore and at sea.

During a recent extended visit to New Zealand, the captain and chief stewardess of a 67m yacht called upon Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand to craft them a bespoke itinerary around the South Island. Duthie and the team rose to the challenge, creating an action-packed itinerary around some of the South Island’s most memorable spots. Read on to learn more about their adventures.  

Travels around New Zealand’s South Island 

Working as the captain and chief stewardess of a 67m sailing yacht Captain Graham Newton and Rochelle Andrus have seen their fair share of special destinations on their travels around the world. But it was a recent road trip to New Zealand’s South Island that they describe as “the trip of a lifetime.”

Their yacht had spent several months visiting New Zealand, arriving in late 2017 before departing in May 2018, with Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand as its local agent. During their time in the country Captain Graham and Rochelle explored the beautiful North Island but the South Island beckoned too.  

The duo planned a two-week itinerary that would take them around the best the South Island had to offer, taking in everything from stunning scenery to world-class wine and heli hiking. Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ was on hand to help customise a bespoke itinerary that would showcase all that this special part of the world has to offer.

Here, Captain Graham and Rochelle describe this unforgettable trip in their own words:

Wellington to Marlborough, via Blenheim

After flying to Wellington from Auckland, we took the ferry over Cook Strait in order to experience the Marlborough Sounds by water. The crossing was beautiful and very smooth and on arrival we drove to Marlborough via Blenheim. We loved being in wine country, and Wairau Valley was a particular highlight – the blue cheese soufflé is to die for! – and we visited lots of the other big names including Cloudy Bay, and stayed with an ex-crew friend who is part of the family who owns the Oyster Bay vineyard. This region is so stunning and the scale of winegrowing is amazing.


Marlborough to Abel Tasman via Nelson 

After leaving Marlborough we drove over to Nelson, which was a beautiful little town, and then out to the Abel Tasman National Park. The drive out there was pretty special with spectacular scenery. We spent a couple of days there and a highlight was a full day of kayaking, which really was amazing. Paddling around in the kayak, we kept thinking what a special place it would be to take a yacht with so much spectacular scenery and wildlife.


Abel Tasman to Murchison 

After leaving Abel Tasman we drove over towards the West Coast via Murchison, where we enjoyed a bike ride up to Lake Matiri in yet more amazing scenery. It’s hard to describe just how beautiful and untouched the South Island is and we were constantly in awe of our surroundings.

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Murchison to Franz Josef Glacier

We then drove down to Franz Josef Glacier, stopping at the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes on the way. At Franz Josef we stayed in the Rainforest Retreat, which was yacht guest standard with new deluxe cabins – a great option for owners/guests wanting some time on land. We opted for the half day heli hike up to see the glaciers, and the guide was fantastic and really made the experience both interesting and safe. That was a special day.

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 Franz Josef to Wanaka

Leaving Franz Josef we enjoyed some spectacular driving along the West coast roads. After arriving into Wanaka we enjoyed a big bike ride around the lake, which took us through the flats and farmland to the mountains behind.

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 Wanaka to Te Anau (Milford Sounds)

Leaving Wanaka we drove through the Crown Ranges and visited the Cardrona Hotel, one of New Zealand’s oldest and most iconic hotels, which is in an amazing setting with snowy peaks behind it. We then pushed on to Te Anau, the last town before Milford Sounds. That road trip took in some incredible scenery so although it was a lot of driving the setting made it such an experience that was well worth it.

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Milford Sounds

After an early start we travelled to Milford and did a boat cruise through the Milford Sounds, which was well run and organised, and enjoyed another kayak trip. The natural beauty of our surroundings left an impression. The area was quite busy with tourist boats so we probably wouldn’t take a yacht there but would go to nearby Dusky Sounds instead and take advantage of the unspoilt surroundings of a boat-only destination.

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Milford Sounds to Queenstown

From Milford Sounds we drove back to Queenstown and stayed at Eichardts, which lived up to its luxury reputation with a beautiful room and a great location right on the lake, enjoying some of the amazing local red wine in front of a roaring fire. The hotel has a very private two-bedroom penthouse suite available for owners, with chauffeur, private elevator and chef, that would be ideal for owners or guests.

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Our last day was the highlight of an unforgettable trip. We flew with Alpine Helicopters up to Minaret Station, a luxury lodge in the hills only accessible by helicopter. We took a longer route through the glaciers and landed on a glacier with fresh snow, before doing heliskiing using the helicopter as skis! On our way to the Station we spotted lots of wildlife, including deer and chamois, and on arrival we enjoyed a very special lunch. The whole experience was incredible from start to finish, from the food quality to staff interaction and surroundings, and we would take guests there in a heartbeat. Minaret Station would be a great location for guests to enjoy while their yacht was transiting between the North and South Islands, before travelling by helicopter to meet their yacht in the Sounds.

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On way back we flew out from the Station up to Wanaka and then flew back to Queenstown, stopping at the Cardrona Distillery for a private tour – it was fascinating seeing a distillery starting from scratch and they were very passionate about what they were doing and extremely knowledgeable. From Queenstown we flew back to Auckland, rounding off a once-in-a-lifetime trip. 


Our 13 days on the South Island was unforgettable but the day at Minaret Station was definitely a highlight. It was amazing from start to finish, a glamour day, and our helicopter pilot couldn’t have been more knowledgeable. We defy anyone to have a day like that and not enjoy it and we couldn’t recommend this enough for owners. The whole experience was sleek, high-luxury, and so well organised.

For crew, the glacier in Franz Josef was another highlight and the guides made the experience standout. A must do for anyone visiting New Zealand.

Graham and Rochelle highly recommend any superyacht seeking to venture into the Pacific and cruise New Zealand to make contact with Duthie Lidgard at Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ duthie@asia-pacific-superyachts.co.nz 

Amber + Friends joins the line up as official photographer of The Superyacht Gathering

With a focus on storytelling, The Superyacht Gathering will be an extremely visual event. Because of this, finding the right fit for our event photographer was an important  task and when we discovered Amber Jones of Amber + Friends, we knew we had hit the jackpot. Amber is a talented photographer and videographer who lives and breathes the ocean, and is passionate about capturing life on and under the sea.

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I would forever feel guilty if I knew I had this storytelling ability and wasn't using it for the greater good, so it's only common sense to show the world what I get to see under the sea." – Amber Jones

Amber's stunning images speak for themselves, and we welcome her to the team. 

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RNZYS offers temporary memberships to attendees of The Superyacht Gathering

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron – home of the America’s Cup – has generously offered attendees of The Superyacht Gathering special membership to the Squadron.

The memberships will run one week either side of the event, allowing guests to take advantage of their time in Auckland. Event attendees will be invited to sign up on purchase of their ticket.

The iconic Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is New Zealand’s senior yacht club. Its enormous reputation on the international yachting scene ensures that the Squadron occupies a position of high prestige, nationally and internationally. Celebrating its 150th year in 2021 - the year of the America’s Cup - an exciting programme of events lies ahead. The RNZYS is proud to support The Superyacht Gathering as an official event partner.

PR, SponsorsEllie BradeSponsors, RNZYS
Port Denarau Marina, Fiji, to sponsor The Superyacht Gathering 2019

News from Auckland – Fiji's Port Denarau Marina has joined the family of sponsors supporting The Superyacht Gathering 2019. 

Based in the heart of Denarau, Fiji, Port Denarau Marina frequently welcomes superyachts that are based in or travelling through the Pacific. Offering excellent facilities, laid back luxury and Fijian warmth and cultural diversity, Port Denarau Marina is the perfect choice for cruising superyachts. Nigel Skeggs, Director at Port Denarau Marina, and his team share our vision for promoting all that makes the South Pacific so special.  

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“The Fiji superyacht industry has very close ties to New Zealand, making it a natural fit for the marina to be a part of this exciting new event," says Nigel Skeggs, Director, Port Denarau Marina. "We see The Superyacht Gathering as a long term investment and I look forward to seeing you all there.”

"The Superyacht Gathering is not limited to Auckland, our vision is to spread the message about superyachts, and all the good they can do, far and wide. Nigel and I have shared a similar vision for this type of event for many years, and we are so happy to have Port Denarau Marina working with us to bring The Superyacht Gathering to fruition," says Linda Berry, Managing Director of The Superyacht Gathering.

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Port Denarau Marina, Fiji. Credit: David Hartman

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The Superyacht Gathering speaker, Bianca Cook, lines up in all-star Sydney-Hobart female crew

Bianca Cook, speaker at the 2019 edition of The Superyacht Gathering, is set to line up as part of an all-star international female crew of 13 racing on board Wild Oats X in the upcoming Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. Bianca and fellow kiwi Keryn McMaster will join their fellow crew to challenge the race, adding another career milestone to Bianca’s already impressive sailing CV.


Excerpt from article from NewsRoom.co.nz:

For the first time in the gruelling Sydney to Hobart race, a professional all-women’s crew will line up on Boxing Day. Among them are two Kiwi sailors at very different stages of their careers.

Keryn McMaster is one of two Kiwis who are part a multinational crew of female sailing icons. The other is 29-year-old Bianca Cook, fresh from her first Volvo Ocean Race, on Turn the Tide on Plastic.

All 13 women are sailing stars in their own right. Between them, they’ve amassed 17 Volvo Ocean Races and 68 Sydney-Hobarts.

They’ve been handpicked by Australian sailor Stacey Jackson, who also sailed in this year’s Volvo on board Vestas 11th Hour Racing. Jackson’s latest mission is to encourage more Australian women to sail, and to push the message of taking better care of our oceans – naming this project Ocean Respect Racing.For Cook, this race – her first Sydney-Hobart – means the opportunity to sail with the women who she says “created the pathways for me”.

Women like Carolijn Brouwer, of the Netherlands - the first woman to win the Volvo Ocean Race on board Dong Feng this year. And Australian Vanessa Dudley, who's already sailed in 22 Sydney-Hobarts.

“I was up on the bow the other day, looking back and thinking ‘wow I can’t believe I’m sailing with these amazing women’. I realised I’m actually the youngest on board by quite a few years," Cook says.

“I’m going out there hoping we don’t have any majors and we have a good blast down to Hobart,” Cook says. “But it’s a race where you just don’t know which hand you’re going to be dealt.

“We’re hoping to get a pretty good result out of it, and we’re capable of it. It’s a fantastic project with such an incredible crew of sailors. Not women – sailors.”

Invited to join the crew by Jackson during the Volvo race stopover in Cardiff, Cook is also very aware of the importance of continuing to advocate for the health of the oceans and sustainability. Partnering the project is 11th Hour Racing, an organisation promoting sustainability through sport. 

“All sailors are very passionate about our oceans, so it’s really just trying to push the message further,” she says.

“When I was a kid growing up it wasn’t really an issue. I’m not saying that we threw stuff into the ocean left, right and centre, but it wasn’t something you always thought about.

“Now, having been out on the world’s oceans and seen the effects humanity is having on them, it’s scary. It’s a message I’m passionate about spreading.”

Cook is also an ambassador for Yachting New Zealand’s sustainability strategy, urging every boat club in the country “to step up” and reduce their impact on the environment.

Since the Volvo ended in June, Cook has dabbled in some international match-racing, but mostly concentrated on finishing her Officer of Watch certificate to skipper super yachts. She's looking forward to finally spending time at home in Auckland this summer, sailing her family's famous classic yacht, Ranger. (Cook's dad, Ian, is commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron). 

Read the full article, here - https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@sailing/2018/12/18/368397/the-kiwis-sailors-making-sydney-hobart-history

Royal Huisman and SKYCITY to sponsor The Superyacht Gathering

Royal Huisman and SKYCITY throw their support behind The Superyacht Gathering, held 27 to 29 March 2019, coming on board as event sponsors. 

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“Having collaborated with Royal Huisman and other leading shipyards during my time as marketing manager at Alloy Yachts, I gained valuable friendships that have served me for many years," says Linda Berry, Managing Director and Co-Founder of The Superyacht Gathering. "My friends at Royal Huisman have long had New Zealand and the South Pacific on their radar and are committed to making the most of the event and their time in Auckland. The Superyacht Gathering will be a memorable event and an invaluable networking tool for both the audience and the Royal Huisman brand.” 
“I have also worked with the team at SkyCity for many years and trust them explicitly to feed and cater to our guests in a manner that befits our KiwiLux vision for The Superyacht Gathering,” says Linda. “The Superyacht Gathering is blessed to have some close and trusting friends, borne from long relationships, joining our group and helping us to show the yachting world why New Zealand and the wider South Pacific are so special."

With a reputation for excellence, Royal Huisman is known throughout the superyacht industry for its craftsmanship and one-of-a-kind custom builds. New Zealand and the South Pacific regularly welcome Royal Huisman builds, including 58m Twizzle, which is currently undergoing refit work in Auckland ahead of the summer cruising season. Another Royal Huisman build, 34m Sassafras, will also be one of the competitors lining up in the upcoming Millennium Cup 2019

In supporting The Superyacht Gathering SKYCITY is returning to the marine sector, having been one of the original supporters of the 2000 Millennium Cup. Located in the heart of Auckland’s CBD, SKYCITY is New Zealand’s biggest tourism, leisure and entertainment company and has a reputation for hosting excellence. It's portfolio includes the iconic Sky Tower, which defines the Auckland skyline. SKYCITY places great value on the importance of visiting superyachts and regularly hosts superyacht owners and charter clients. 

Please check our Sponsors, Supporters, Heroes & Legends page to find out more about all the great companies who are partnering with The Superyacht Gathering.

Sam Sorgiovanni Joins Stellar Speaker Lineup For The Superyacht Gathering 2019

News from Auckland – Sam Sorgiovanni has joined the stellar speaker lineup for The Superyacht Gathering 2019. World-renowned superyacht designer Sam Sorgiovanni is joined by several other new speakers including Captain Mike Gregory, Fleet Captain of 'The Fly Fleet,' which includes 74m Dragonfly, and Tracy and Mike Mahoney, owners of S/Y Tawera. 

Sam Sorgiovanni has worked with many of the leading shipyards and on iconic projects including 126m Octopus and 75.5m Anastasia. Recents projects include the world’s biggest tri-hulled yacht, 84m White Rabbit, built by Echo Yachts. Sam will present case studies on White Rabbit’s innovative hull form, and a one-year research project into a zero-emission yacht and the challenges this presented. How can we create near zero emission designs, that perform better and have a lower environmental impact, and what technology developments do we need to invest in to achieve them?

Held on day two of The Superyacht Gathering's three-day lineup, the engaging Symposium day will be broken down into several sessions, around topics including Design, Altruism, the America's Cup, and candid Ownership Insight. 

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Sorgiovanni Designs

How can we create superyacht designs that perform better and have a lower environmental impact, and what technology do we need to invest in to achieve them? Including case studies on White Rabbit & ZeroEmissions concept.

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The Fly Fleet

Footage from the field and candid insight into the altruistic work that 74m Dragonfly and the 'Fly Fleet' is doing around the world, at the behest of the owner.  Captain Mike will provide inspiration on how other yachts can (and should) follow their lead.

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S/Y Tawera

Since buying Tawera in 2016 Tracy and Mike have made the most of life on the water. With Tawera now on the market, the Mahoney's will discuss their ownership adventure to date and what comes next...

Check out the full 'storyteller' line up by clicking here

Latest supporters of The Superyacht Gathering include The Produce Company, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Developments (ATEED)Heletranz and For The Better Good

Please check our Sponsors, Supporters, Heroes & Legends page to find out more about these great companies.

Event tickets are now available to purchase – www.thesuperyachtgathering.com/tickets
Will you join us?

#TheSuperyachtGathering #BeThereWithBurgess

Burgess joins The Superyacht Gathering as a major sponsor

#BeThereWithBurgess #TheSuperyachtGathering

Great news from Auckland as Burgess joins The Superyacht Gathering as a major sponsor.

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Burgess will partner with The Superyacht Gathering for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 editions., including hosting an exclusive VIP event in 2019 on board their 60m charter yacht, Dream, which is in the South Pacific for the season.   

Widely respected within the international superyacht industry, the Burgess name needs no introduction. Burgess was built on a love of yachting. Founded in 1975 by Nigel Burgess, renowned sailor and worldwide single-handed ocean racer, Burgess is a world-leading superyacht brokerage house with a wide network, specialist team and expert knowledge. With 13 offices globally positioned from Tokyo through to Beverly Hills, and the only full service 360-degree agency, Burgess is perfectly positioned to guide clients through their superyacht journey.

Known for always staying one step ahead of the market and recognising the significance of the South Pacific region, supporting The Superyacht Gathering was a positive step for Burgess.

“We are delighted to support this new initiative,” says Jonathan Beckett, Burgess CEO. “The superyacht industry is entering a very exciting time, and with this we are working with a far broader range of clients from a wider geographic area than ever before. The Asia Pacific region is one of our main focuses moving forward and with this new partnership we hope to help educate, support and grow the industry in this beautiful part of the world, ahead of the 2021 America’s Cup.”

“Burgess shares our passion for inspiring creativity and change within the superyacht industry and we are looking forward to working with Jonathan Beckett and the team over the next three years and beyond,” says Linda Berry, Managing Director of The Superyacht Gathering. “This is a great fit, and I am proud to have such a hugely successful company putting their confidence and financial support behind Ellie and I and the Auckland edition of The Superyacht Gathering.”

Held over three days, The Superyacht Gathering is an immersive experience-based event. The inaugural event will be held in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand, and will be three days of experiences, camaraderie and sharing of knowledge hosted by some of the superyacht industry's most passionate people. It will play an important role in building a community around superyachts in the lead up to, and including, the America’s Cup 2021, and showcase the world of superyachts to the South Pacific’s huge pool of potential owners, charterers and visitors. The speaker line-up includes passionate yachtsman and superyacht owner Neville Crichton and avid fisherman, diver and superyacht owner Sir Michael Hill,

Event tickets are now available to purchase – www.thesuperyachtgathering.com/tickets 

Will you join us?


About Burgess

Founded in 1975, and now with thirteen offices globally, Burgess is the superyacht industry leader, specialising in yachts of over 30 metres (100 feet). Renowned for its professional yachting services, the company leverages its expertise to guide clients through every aspect of the yachting experience, including sale and purchase, charter, new construction, management, crew services and insurance. Burgess has been involved in the sale of many of the world’s most significant yachts, while their technical division is currently project managing the build and development of a diverse spectrum of large yachts. The company’s highly qualified yacht managers have extensive seagoing experience and can take care of every facet of managing a superyacht. Burgess’ first-class charter service offers a portfolio of the finest yachts in the best cruising destinations around the world. The superyacht credentials of Burgess are unmatched, ensuring that clients enjoy the highest levels of customer service. www.burgessyachts.com


Ellie Brade
Tickets to The Superyacht Gathering now available

We are pleased to announce that tickets for The Superyacht Gathering and are available to purchase on the event website. 


By purchasing a ticket to The Superyacht Gathering you’re signing up to be a part of something special. Socialise, share experiences and knowledge, learn, sample some of New Zealand’s incredible food and wine, and get to know this important part of the world and what makes superyachts so great.


SPEAKER PROFILE: Neville Crichton 

A prolific yacht owner and racer, Neville Crichton's is a name synonymous with the superyacht industry. Businessman, car and yacht racer, and visionary yacht owner, over the years Neville has been truly bitten by the yachting bug and has owned more than 50 yachts, building at yards including Alloy Yachts and more recently Feadship. Neville will give invaluable insight into his many yachting projects, and how he has helped to shape the superyacht industry.

View the full confirmed speaker line up here 

Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ named sponsor of The Superyacht Gathering

Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand has recently been announced as a sponsor and 'legend' for the inaugural The Superyacht Gathering. Held in Auckland, New Zealand, from 27-29 March 2019, and again in 2020 and 2021 (America's Cup year) and beyond, The Superyacht Gathering is a new, immersive experience-based conference that will showcase all that New Zealand and the wider South Pacific has to offer. It will also provide a tantalising insight into superyachts for potential owners within the region. 

Duthie Lidgard - Managing Director of Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ

Duthie Lidgard - Managing Director of Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ

Held over the course of three days, The Superyacht Gathering's busy programme will include a yacht hop, welcome party, engaging symposium day, breakfast with the Commodore and selfies with the America's Cup at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, concluded with a social day at Stonyridge Vineyard on beautiful Waiheke Island. Owners, influencers, designers, brokers, senior crew and industry members will gather together to network, learn and engage.

Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand is a perfect fit as a sponsor of the event, thanks to their exhaustive knowledge of New Zealand and the South Pacific and their specialisation in how to create one-of-a-kind-superyacht experiences. "We are delighted to welcome Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand on board and know that all guests of The Superyacht Gathering will benefit from their support and involvement," says Linda Berry, Managing Director of The Superyacht Gathering. "It's great to be involved in The Superyacht Gathering and we are looking forward to helping to show the world just why New Zealand is so special," says Duthie Lidgard, Managing Director of Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand. 

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Profile: Ian & Blanche Cook - Yachting Developments

Yachting Developments - Foundation Partner


Foundation Partners

When we came to them first for support for The Superyacht Gathering, once Blanche and Ian had given us some good strong feedback they gave both their blessing and the seed money needed to get the ball rolling. We are honoured by their commitment and thank them for their belief in the event. We are so proud to have Yachting Developments as our first official partner for The Superyacht Gathering.

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Ian and Blanche Cook

Talk to anyone in the New Zealand marine industry and they will know of Blanche and Ian Cook. Passionate boat builders, self confessed classic yacht nuts, and most importantly good friends, the Cooks involvement in the Kiwi and international yachting scene is longstanding.

It was back when composite boats were still in their infancy that Blanche and Ian Cook decided to start building superyachts, founding Yachting Developments. Fast forward nearly 30 years and their instincts were right, with composite yachts proving more popular than ever and Yachting Developments one of the world's most respected composite specialists and one of the last family-owned superyacht yards. This natural instinct and affinity around yachts, paired with straight up no nonsense talking, is what makes the Cooks so good at what they do. More often than not you'll find Ian down on the yard floor, guiding an apprentice or offering some advice, rather than behind a desk. Today, daughters Bianca and Paige are also involved in the business. 

Although Blanche and Ian are best known as superyacht builders, superyachts are just part of the picture with classic yachts being a true passion for the couple. The Yachting Developments yard is often packed with a number of 'last chancers' taken on by the Cooks and lovingly restored over time - the corner of the yard that these yachts live in is affectionately dubbed 'Jurassic Park.' The classic yacht Ranger is one boat that is particularly special to the family, having been restored by Ian and team and now regularly raced around Auckland. 

Blanche and Ian's commitment to the marine industry goes far beyond just building boats, with Ian appointed the Commodore of the RNZYS in August 2018, and former positions including a ten-year tenure as the President of the Boating Industry Association in NZ. They are true industry supporters and ambassadors.

Thank you Blanche and Ian.



Yachting Developments is an award-winning builder of composite yachts. The owners and staff at Yachting Developments have shared the vision and dreams of more than 70 individual clients, creating vessels of the highest quality standards, designed and custom made to the client’s brief. With launches including 33.83m Cygnus Montanus, 37m S/Y Bliss and 30.5m S/Y Quintessential, and the award-winning refit of the J-Class Endeavour to their name, the yard has forged a strong international reputation for its high quality work and specialist team.  Current projects include the 33m Hull 1017 sportsfisher superyacht.

Operating out of a 10,000sqm yard facility that includes 5,000sqm of fully equipped sheds and water access in Auckland’s Hobsonville, Yachting Developments is able to service yachts of up to 60m. The yard welcomes all inquiries for new build, refit and service work, for both small and large projects, and can also service yachts on location.

Linda Berry
Inaugural The Superyacht Gathering announced – Auckland Edition – 27-29 March 2019

A new superyacht event has been announced for New Zealand. An evolution of the previous Yacht Vision superyacht conferences held in New Zealand the inaugural edition of The Superyacht Gathering will be held from 27 to 29 March 2019 and will run again in 2020, 2021 (America’s Cup year) and beyond.

The Format

Held in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand, The Superyacht Gathering will be three days of experiences, camaraderie and sharing of knowledge hosted by some of the superyacht industry's most passionate people. Ease into things with a leisurely afternoon visiting some of the many superyachts in the Viaduct and enjoy the best of local wine, food and music at a relaxed welcome event at the Captains lounge at the Orams yard. Wake up invigorated on day two ready for the immersive symposium day of storytelling. The event will wrap up on day three with a Commodores Breakfast, hosted at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, and a social day on Waiheke Island at beautiful Stonyridge Vineyard.

For those looking to make the most of their time in New Zealand once the event is over other optional breakaway trips and tours will be on offer. 

The Storytellers

The symposium day will feature an engaging line up with visual presentations that will tell a story worth sharing. Some of the sailors already confirmed to share their stories of superyachts, the superyacht lifestyle and their experiences are:
Sir Michael Hill - owner/entrepreneur - discussing his latest superyacht The Beast
Neville Crichton, CNZM - owner/entrepreneur - influencing an industry transformation
Bianca Cook - Volvo Ocean race sailor & travelling the North West passage by superyacht
Patrick Whetter - Building a humanitarian mothership
Sir Bob Harvey - Champion for Auckland - former Mayor, surfer, ad exec and environmentalist.
Emirates Team New Zealand - the new America's Cup boats
With many more speakers still in the pipeline the speaker lineup will continue to grow – watch this space.


Neville Crichton, CNZM & Sir Michael Hill

The People

Influencers, owners, designers, senior crew, media, brokers and industry figureheads will come together in an exclusive environment to make the most of this experience-based event that will help explore new ways to engage with potential customers in this important region. One in three millionaires is based in the Asia-Pacific and with the Auckland America's Cup hosting due in 2021 the potential for this incredible region is already huge and continues to grow. 

Join Us

"The Superyacht Gathering is designed to open up conversations, share experiences and possibly change the way owners experience their superyacht – it is meant to inspire, explore and educate at the same time have fun," says Linda Berry, Managing Director of The Superyacht Gathering. "We see a fantastic opportunity to ensure that New Zealand and the South Pacific is fully on the radar of superyacht owners, charter clients and the wider superyacht industry, sharing stories and information about Auckland, New Zealand and beyond.”

New Zealand is fast becoming a must-do destination for cruising, with world-class new build and refit infrastructure, suppliers and yacht agent support to complement the incredible cruising grounds that draw owners back again and again. The Superyacht Gathering will be the ideal platform for those looking to engage with the New Zealand superyacht industry and enjoy all the country has to offer.

Advance registration of interest for The Superyacht Gathering is available online now, with tickets due to be released shortly.