Superyacht supper: Huhu grubs and goat’s testicles on regatta menu

Huhu grubs, goats’ testicles, fish eye balls and kina – the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron really knows how to throw a party for visiting superyachts and their crew.

The RNZYS, celebrating its 150th anniversary and hosting the America’s Cup, has dreamed up a cross between The Amazing Race and Fear Factor as part of the four-day Mastercard Superyacht Regatta which starts on Wednesday.

The sailing superyachts will compete in a four-day race programme between Wednesday and Saturday, starting at 11am. The superyachts will have trackers aboard so viewers can watch the racing onlinethrough the squadron’s website, rnzys.org.nz or on its Facebook page.

Due in Auckland this week is the largest superyacht to make it to New Zealand, the $139 million explorer vessel Bold which has been marking time in the Coral sea, waiting for clearance to come to Auckland.

The 85-metre vessel received Ministry of Health approval to enter the country last week but has been sheltering at Minerva Reef due to bad weather.

Bold’s crew have been at sea for more than 20 days so will need to quarantine for only 48 hours. All those on board will also need to test negative for Covid-19.

The vessel is owned by German industrialist and superyacht builder Guido Krass. Bold was built in 2019 by Fremantle superyacht builders SilverYachts, founded by Krass in 2005.

The vessel will join the two-day motor yacht regatta which includes an eight nautical-mile sprint race off Milford beach at 10am on Friday followed by a cruise to Kawau Island for the Amazing-Race-meets-Fear-Factor part of the programme.

North Shore spectators will be able to see the motor yachts doing a “hammer down”8 nautical-mile race starting at A buoy off Milford Beach, and then on to Bon Accord Harbour at Kawau Island.

It’s there that a designated crew member will compete in the Kiwi Kai Challenge – eating a plateful of delicacies washed down with a bottle of Steinlager beer in record time.

The RNZYS’s CEO Hayden Porter said the squadron’s chefs had designed the challenge.

“We’ve got some amazing delicacies like huhu grubs, some kina, a couple of fish eyeballs and goat’s testicles, things like that. It’ll be pretty horrible.”

The contestants will be able to douse the platter with locally-produced accompaniments, like Rocket hot sauce, to disguise the taste.

Other challenges include swimming out to a buoy to retrieve a shovel, swimming back, and running up a hill to dig a hole and plant a native tree; riding a New Zealand-designed Mantra5 hydro-foiling bike round a course and back to shore; and be the first to hit a dissolving fish-food golf ball into a floating ring.

A film crew will capture the highlights throughout the regatta.

From Kawau the motor yachts cruise to Man O’ War Bay on Waiheke Island for a slightly more elegant challenge – blind tasting fine wines at Man O’ War Vineyard, followed by a beach barbecue and a Kiwiana pub-style quiz.

On Saturday the superyachts head to Islington Bay on Rangitoto Island for a welcome by local iwi and a race to the top of the dormant volcano.

Crew will also need their fishing lines out during the two-day challenge. They’ll get marks for the longest snapper caught (they’ll be encouraged to photograph and release if the fish isn’t eaten) and for the snapper measuring closest to the average length caught.

The regatta will finish with a slap-up dinner at the RNYS in Westhaven featuring New Zealand produce including crayfish, oysters, lamb, and gourmet cheeses, with local bands including Che Fu playing.

Taking part in the fun will be Bold’s crew, whose job it is to keep SilverYacht’s flagship looking immaculate inside and out.

The vessels’ naval-like exterior belies its luxurious interior. A massive open-plan entertaining area, known as The Loft, features floor-to-ceiling windows, two artificial fireplaces, sit-down dining for 16 and a movie screen.

An adjoining wintergarden, with glass walls that open up, looks down on an expansive aft deck where guests can play basketball or take off for sightseeing on Bold’s helicopter.

The helicopter locker doubles as a dance floor for 200, complete with LED lights, a smoke machine and massive speakers.

The toy locker stern door opens up to a beach club with sun loungers, and a floating dock for kayaks, wake boards, kite boards, two double jet skis, surf boards, three fast tenders and 12 sets of scuba diving gear.

Bold can accommodate 16 guests and 21 crew with the massive owner’s suite featuring his and her bathrooms, including a full-length bath.

Multiple outdoor decks include two outdoor cinemas, an outdoor bar, a jacuzzi and a teppanyaki barbecue area. While in New Zealand Bold will have repairs and maintenance done, thought to worth millions of dollars.

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