Party time in Auckland

Sunday 13 February

A few sore heads were this morning’s order of the day after last night’s America’s Cup Ball. Set high on the museum hill overlooking the city, the evening was filled with champagne, seafood platters, trapeze artists, roaming roller bladers in hot pants and singing waiters. Around 1,250 guests danced until the early hours to the eternal sounds of Abba.

Not everyone could afford the glamour of the real thing, so to keep the crowds happy, a Poor Man’s Ball was staged just down the road. Once again, Abba filled the night air as the alternative America’s Cup crowd bopped the dark hours away.

This morning, it was back onto the water for most, with the second day of the Logan Classic Regatta. Velsheda led the fleet of vintage and classic yachts, finishing an hour and a half ahead of her competitors. Elsewhere on the Harbour, the Royal Yachting Association team has just won the Coca Cola international youth match racing series, beating the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in a dramatic final sail off.

Back in the village marina, the superyachts are eyeing each other up as they prepare for this week’s Millennium Cup. At the front of the starting box will be Georgia and Hyperion, the world’s two largest, single-masted yachts, both eager to prove their supremacy. A close struggle is also expected between the J class Velsheda and Mari Cha III, holder of both the Atlantic and Sydney to Hobart crossing records. The 38-strong crew of Velsheda are confident that they will be arriving at Kawau Island, the overnight fleet stop over, well before their opponents. The incentive is strong, as the evening’s 900-strong banquet is reputed to include ostrich, green-shell mussels, handmade chocolates, local cheeses and New Zealand’s national dish, Pavlova.