Wednesday, 1st November 2017

Record Numbers Expected at Annual ‘Great Blake Race’ for Charity

With more than 650 people and 45 yachts, including legendary Steinlager 2 taking part in this year’s Great Blake Race, the fourth-annual charity event is set to be bigger than ever.

Participants are promised a competitive afternoon of racing on the Hauraki Gulf followed by an evening of fun, entertainment and auction bidding at the home of the America’s Cup, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, on Thursday 2 November.

People will be asked to dig deep and bid generously on more than $100,000 worth of auction items to raise money for the Sir Peter Blake Trust and the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron.

A special wet weather jacket worn by Sir Peter Blake onboard ENZA catamaran during the Jules Verne Challenge in 1994 is included in the auction. Until now, this item has been stored in the archives of the Maritime Museum and has been generously donated by Sir Peter’s family, Lady Pippa, Sarah-Jane and James Blake.

Luxury holidays and money-can’t-normally-buy experiences such as a private dinner party for 10 people with the Americas Cup and members of ETNZ at the Squadron, a night on board a navy ship and a SKYCITY Breakers home game followed by an opportunity to have a photo and autograph with players, are all up for grabs.

The sold-out charity regatta will sail in a Mark Foy Regatta, which is a handicapped race designed to have the boats cross the finish line around the same time.

Friends and original crew of Sir Peter will compete on board Steinlager 2 including Tom Schnackenberg, Mark Orams, Tony Rae and Simon Gundry.

Money raised from the charity auction will go toward the Sir Peter Blake Trust’s Young Blake Expeditions and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron International Sailing Trust.

Sally Paterson, Acting CEO of the Sir Peter Blake Trust says “Sir Peter Blake was passionate about connecting young people with the ocean and environment through adventure and participation. The money raised from this event will go directly to supporting talented young people, through our trip to the Kermadecs next year with Young Blake Expeditions and the RNZYS International Sailing Trust.

“As a charity, we’re thrilled with the number of people getting involved this year and urge even those not attending the event, to support our young environmental leaders by bidding on our fantastic auction items,” says Paterson. 

A mix of online silent and live auction items are all available to bid on now. Online bidding for silent items closes at 10pm on Thursday 2 November. Online bidding for live auction items closes at 5pm on 2 November and reverts to live bidding by Auctioneer from 7pm at the event. 

Live auction items include:

• Sir Peter Blake’s own sailing jacket from the 1994 Jules Verne Challenge donated by the Blake family
• New Caledonia sailing escape for two people
• The Blues - four gold season passes and lunch with the players
• Your own Americas Cup replica
• Luxury launch charter for eight people
• Luxury accommodation and helicopter transfer package on Great Barrier Island
• Lunch on board HMNZS Te Kaha for the Auckland Anniversary Day celebrations
• Your own private light aircraft with pilot for a day

Silent auction items include:

• History tour of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and lunch for 4 people
• Villa Maria Christmas in the Vines featuring Sol3 Mio
• Luxury Bali getaway – seven nights for eight people
• Westpac rescue helicopter flight simulator session
• Be the RNZYS Commodore for a day
• Skycity breakers family pass and meet the players

- ENDS

For more information please contact Lara Harrison, Sir Peter Blake Trust, lara@sirpeterblaketrust.org or 022 079 3554.