The history of Ocean Racing in New Zealand is intimately related to The Royal Akarana Yacht Club.

With the introduction of the first trans-Tasman race in 1931, the club became the founder of blue water offshore racing in New Zealand and no other club has done more to foster this type of racing.

In 1951 the club added the White Island Offshore race to its program to encourage its sailors to venture further beyond the Hauraki Gulf without having to leave New Zealand waters.

The club was now home to many deep water yachtsman who were keen to experience new adventures and challenges and to meet this need the committee decided that a race north to the Pacific Islands would fit the bill.

Thus was born the Auckland to Suva race, now regarded as one of the world’s classic yacht races.   It was seen as a way to get yachts up to the Pacific Islands for several months of tropical cruising during the winter months in New Zealand.   It was held for the first time in 1956 with 13 entries and it was popular from the start – so much so that in 1973 there were 70 yachts and in 1977 a record number of 117 entries were received.

This latter number was too great to be accommodated at the Royal Suva Yacht Club so half the fleet was sent to Lautoka.   In all there have been 15 races to Suva.

In 1997, the race to Fiji was sent to the western side of Viti Levu for the first time. The yachts finished just inside the Momi Passage and they then were accommodated in a partially developed new marina at the Denerau Resort.  The race has finished at Denerau a further 3 times and in 2006 the host location was the Vuda Point marina at First Landing.

The year 2000 race was riddled with controversy – It abandoned at the request of the RT Honourable Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, due to the first Fijian Military Coup led by Colonel Sitaveni Ramuka. The majority fleet returned to New Zealand, whilst some altered course and headed to Noumea. A handful of boats continued to Fiji under their own authority.

1956 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Wanderer (11d, 12h, 26m)
2nd – Nina
3rd – Matuku

1966 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Roulette (9d, 12h, 50m)
2nd – Aronui
3rd – Tiare Moana

1969 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Kahurangi (7d, 14h, 51m)

Handicap – Castanet
2nd – Concord
3rd – Stella Neus

1973 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Ta’aroa (5d, 12h, 52m)

IOR – Whispers 2
2nd – Salacia 2
3rd – Kahurangi

1977 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Anticipation (5d, 23h, 39m)

IOR – Country Boy
2nd – Whispers of Wellington
3rd – Stealaway

1979 – Auckland to Suva

IOR – Kishmul
2nd – Whispers of Wellington
3rd – Illiria

PHRF – Kishmul
2nd – Plane Jane
3rd – Whispers of Wellington

1981 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Ta’aroa (6d, 17h, 50m)

IOR – Tinler
2nd – Runaway
3rd – Razzle Dazzle

PHRF – Tinker
2nd – Red Herring
3rd – Razzle Dazzle

2-Handed Line – Charger
2-Handed Handicap – Kirsten J

1983 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Urban Cowboy (7d, 18h, 4m)

IOR – Cavell
2nd – Lisa V
3rd – Chicane

PHRF – In’sha’allah
2nd – Lisa V
3rd – Cavell

1985 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Urban Cowboy (5d, 8h, 53m)

IOR – Urban Cowboy
2nd – Magic Dragon
3rd – Dictator

PHRF – Urban Cowboy
2nd – Mint
3rd – Magic Dragon

1987 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Satellite Spy (5d, 19h, 22m)

IOR – Dictator
2nd – Bon Accord
3rd – Chic Chac

PHRF – Foreign Exchange
2nd – Big Ruby
3rd – Chincilla

1989 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Future Shock (4d, 14h, 42m)

IOR – Liberte Express
2nd – Rockie
3rd – TObuime

PHRF – Future Shock
2nd – Fidelis
3rd – Rockie

General Handicap – Fidelis
2nd – Rockie
3rd – Technovator

1991 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Longfellow (5d, 16h, 58m)

IMS – Higher Ground
2nd – Country Cousin
3rd – Rockie

PHRF – Higher Ground
2nd – Reckless
3rd – Rockie

General Handicap – Excess
2nd – Rockie
3rd – Longfellow

1993 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Ice Fire (7d, 22h, 21m)

IMS – Neutrino
2nd – Memphis
3rd – Pericon

PHRF A – Neutrino
PHRF B – Memphis

General Handicap A – Azzurro
General Handicap B – Rhythm

1995 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Antaeus (4d, 19h, 31m)

IMS – Kiwi
2nd – Rockie
3rd – Cruise Control

PHRF – Urban Cowboy
2nd – Antaeus
3rd – Kiwi

General Handicap – Urban Cowboy
2nd – Kiwi
3rd – Antaeus

1997 – Auckland to Denarau

Line – Hydroflow (5d, 12h, 5m, 22s)

IMS – Otway II (Fletcher Cup)

PHRF – Touchdown
2nd – Black Panther
3rd – Sabian

General Handicap – Touchdown
2nd – Legacy II
3rd – Bullrush

Cruising – 42nd Street

1998 – Auckland to Denarau

Line – Antaeus (4d, 8h, 53m, 14s)

IMS – Blizzard

PHRF – Antaeus
2nd – Blizzard
3rd – Lorenz

General Handicap – Blizzard
2nd – Antaeus
3rd – Lorenz

1999 – Auckland to Denarau

Line – Wild Thing (6d, 17h, 26m, 26s)

ORC – Copellia
2nd – Sow’s Ear
3rd – Rapport

PHRF – Sabian
2nd – Touchdown
3rd – Sow’s Ear

General Handicap – Copellia
2nd – Quicksilver

3rd – Sabian

2000 – Auckland to Savu Savu


The 2000 race was abandoned at the request of the RT Honourable Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, due to the first Fijian Military Coup led by Colonel Sitaveni Ramuka. The majority fleet returned to New Zealand, whilst some altered course and headed to Noumea. A handful of boats continued to Fiji under their own authority.

2001 – Auckland to Savu Savu RE-RUN Ended up racing to Noumea

The 2000 race was due to re-run in 2001 however in August 2000 Dick Smith of Musket Cove Resort announced to a gathering of the Island Cruising Association (at Musket Cove) that in 2001 the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron would run a race to the destination. Faced with a competing race to Fiji, Royal Akarana Yacht Club successfully revived the Auckland to Noumea Race so plans to go to Savu Savu were replaced with New Caledonia instead.

2005 – Auckland to Suva

Line – Konica Minolta (3d, 10h, 47m, 40s)

ORC – Jive Talkin’
2nd – Cruise Control
3rd – Moody Blue III

PHRF O/A – Jive Talkin’
Div 1 – Jive Talkin’
Div 2 – Elysium

S/Handed – Skiddy Too

Cruising – Kiwi Coyote

2006 – Auckland to Vuda Point

Line – Pussy Galore (5d 1h 37m 40s)

IRC – Pussy Galore

PHRF – Lion New Zealand

ORC – Wild Card

2010 – Auckland to Denarau

Line – O Canada
2nd – Wired
3rd – Ran Tan II

IRC – Bird on the Win
2nd – General Lee
3rd – Revs

ORC – Revs
2nd – Bullrush
3rd – General Lee

PHRF Overall – Skiddy Too
2nd – Revs
3rd – Lion New Zealand

PHRF Corinthian – Cheetah
2nd – Farrago II

Single Handed – Skiddy Too

2014 – Auckland to Denarau

Line – Beau Geste (3d 20h 49m 36s)
2nd – Giacomo
3rd – V5
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IRC – Giacomo
2nd – Beau Geste
3rd – Blizzard
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PHRF Overall
1st – Beau Geste
2nd – Blizzard
3rd – Giacomo
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view phrf division results

General Overall
1st – Blizzard
2nd – Django
3rd – Beau Geste
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view general division results

2016 – Auckland to Denarau


Line – Team Vodafone Sailing (2d 11h 31m 03s) / RACE RECORD
Handicap – Team Vodafone Sailing

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Line – Giacomo (2d 22h 53m 19s) / RACE RECORD
2nd – Shaman
3rd – Blink

IRC – Giacomo
2nd – Blink
3rd – Cotton Blossom 2

PHRF – Giacomo
2nd – Hupane
3rd – Blink

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2020 – Auckland to Denarau

Cancelled due to Covid-19 travel restrictions