In less than four months, the Millennium Cup superyacht race in New Zealand will be held again, kicking off what will become an annual competition.

The Millennium Cup was inaugurated in 2000, when Team New Zealand defended the America’s Cup in its home waters.

The idea was to thank superyacht owners and crew for visiting Auckland and nearby regions. It was also a way to introduce more people to the area’s builders, refit facilities, and related businesses.

A repeat regatta was held in 2003, with the intention of doing the same every two to three years. Unfortunately, that did not occur, but organizers now feel confident an annual event in the Hauraki Gulf will be well attended.

Besides showcasing the local industry, the Millennium Cup is being positioned as the premiere superyacht event of the South Pacific.

So far five yachts are confirmed for the Millennium Cup 2012, being held on 16-18 February. Among them is Yachting Development’s 34m (12ft) Silvertip, which won the Millennium Cup in 2003.

The remaining four competitors