It does not have the international recognition factor of the America's Cup, nor the huge budgets, but around 100 boats participate in the Bay of Islands Sailing Week regatta.
It is the biggest regatta of its kind in New Zealand and one of the Southern Hemisphere's premier yachting events, regularly attracting more than 100 sail boats.
In these Covid times, border restrictions have prevented sailors from overseas arriving in the country and this year international entries are down. But the 100 threshold has been passed already and more are expected as the regatta gets nearer.
Entries are accepted right up until the end of registration which is the day before racing starts on January 26. Regatta chairwoman and co-founder Nina Kiff says last-minute entries can depend on a number of factors.
"Quite a few will wait until the last minute because they're watching what the weather will do and they aren't always sure the boat will be ready on time."
The 100th entry for the January event was Bullrush owned by Janine and Ant Robinson who have been regular competitors at the regatta for many years.
"We are repeat offenders and just can't help ourselves from entering the regatta each year," said Janine Robinson.
"We can't go to Australia or Fiji to do any regattas this year so we just like coming up to north and we love the beach party afterwards."
This year a resurgence in the racing divisions means entrants sail three races per day, rather than the single, longer, race of the Island Racing divisions. There are four new Melges 40 class boats in B division and organisers say competition will be especially fierce among this fleet.
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C Division, abandoned in previous regattas because of the low level of entries, has been brought back from the brink, with a fleet of seven at of the time of writing.
Among them is one of the Royal New Zealand Navy training yachts, Paea II, skippered by Hamish Ivey.
Udder Life (skippered by Wallace Baker) and Formula One (Carl Smith and Tessa Dennistonsmith) have volunteered to be part of the Opua Cruising Club's Room For One More programme.
This initiative places local young sailors on keelboats to give them experience in competitive regatta racing that they might otherwise struggle to achieve without travelling outside Northland.
The CRC Bay of Islands Sailing Week takes place from Tuesday, January 26 to Friday, January 29 inclusive.
Best shoreside viewing spots are from Waitangi Golf Course or Tapeka Pt, Russell.