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Thank you Auckland! What a way to celebrate 184 years.

Celebrating its 184th year, the City of Sails lived up to its name on Anniversary Day, as hundreds of mariners turned out to race in the Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta.

While conditions were very fresh - with winds gusting in excess of 25 knots at times - there was no dissuading the regatta’s smallest sailors. An impressive fleet of 177 young Optimist and Starling sailors braved the elements to compete in their Auckland Championships hosted by the Royal Akarana Yacht Club.

Fleets of dinghy and board sailors also competed in challenging conditions at Murray’s Bay Sailing Club, Manly Sailing Club, Takapuna Boating Club and Tamaki Yacht Club, while some took to Lake Pupuke to avoid the worst of the weather.

In the Viaduct crowds were gathered early in the morning to watch the impressive and colourful dragon boat races, which continued throughout the day to the delight of spectators.

At Westhaven, the tugboat race was even more entertaining than ever. In a world-first, the Port of Auckland electric tug ‘Sparky’ joined the race, giving the gas-guzzlers a run for their money. It’s probably also the only time anyone has seen a dredging barge racing down the harbour too, which was certainly a sight to be witnessed!

A fantastic fleet of classic launches also raced, and although the keelboat fleets were sadly depleted this year, we wholeheartedly thank those who did turn out to race, along with everyone else who raced in every division and fleet throughout the city.

Our sincere thanks also go to our immensely generous sponsors, whose support keeps this historic event alive, particularly our headline sponsor Oceanbridge Shipping.

We would also like to thank all our volunteers who kept everything running smoothly both on and off the water. A big thank you also to the Auckland Harbourmaster, Auckland Police Maritime Unit, Coastguard New Zealand – Tautiaki Moana, Royal New Zealand Navy, The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, and all the host clubs and associations around Auckland for your part in making this fantastic regatta a success once again.

Remember you are warmly invited to attend the Prizegiving ceremony at RNZYS on Tuesday 20 February, where our collection of historic trophies will be awarded, cash prizes handed out, and a huge pool of spot prizes worth over $15,000 will be given away too.

You've got to be there to win, so RSVP now to Joyce to go in the spot prize draws, and remember to let us know how many in your party for catering purposes. We look forward to seeing you there.