Cyclone threat prompts yacht race cancellation

Organisers of Auckland's Anniversary Day regatta on Monday are crossing their fingers for good weather after a cyclone threat led to the cancellation of a race for classic yachts.

The race for old yachts was to have started in Auckland tonight and ended in Mahurangi north of the city before the fleet returned back to Auckland for the regatta.

But race organisers decided that with Cyclone Wilma bearing down on the top half of the North Island, it would be too risky to start the race, particularly for some of the old, restored yachts which carried a lot of sail.

However, the regatta, which began in 1840, would go ahead, regatta executive officer Joyce Talbott sid today.

It had been cancelled only once, in 1900 because of the Boer War in South Africa.

By 1940 the regatta had grown to be the biggest one-day events in the world.

Monday's regatta was due to begin with a tug boat race followed by a dragon boat race in the Viaduct Harbour.

- NZPA

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