International14 worlds to start next week in Takapuna Beach, New Zealand

The 2005 World Championship for the International 14 racing dinghy will be held off Takapuna Beach, New Zealand, from the 7-19 February. The event, hosted by the Takapuna Boating Club, is a major international regatta, and is already attracting a large following.

The organisers are expecting more than 80 boats from seven countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand and the United States. With that many competitors and supporters, it has been estimated that the event may bring as much as one million dollars into the local economy.

Teams racing between eight teams will take place from 8-10 February. In this activity, two four-boat teams go head to head around a very short course in a round robin format. Starting 11 February and running through the 19 Feb will be the fleet regatta, with all 80 boats in one start line.

“The action on the water will be thrilling to watch,” said Paul O’Dowd, Commodore of the Takapuna Boating Club. “Anyone who hasn’t watched an International 14 flying by, half-airborne, with the two racers perched high above the water, is in for a treat.”

The venue for the event is the boating club’s new clubhouse, which features huge glass windows overlooking the beach and the Hauraki Gulf. The club will provide commentary on the racing for spectators, though if the winds are right, the mark roundings should be clearly visible from the beach. The highlight of the social schedule is the prizegiving dinner, to be held at the nearby Bruce Mason Centre, one of Auckland’s cultural gems.

A generous group of sponsors have lent their support to ensure that this regatta could happen. Contributions by the Lion Foundation, the North Shore City Council, Schenker (NZ) Ltd and Axis Intermodal were key ingredients.

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