18 Jun 2013

Residents concerned at funds for yacht race

7:39 pm on 18 June 2013

Organisers of a major yacht race between Auckland and Bluff have met with residents concerned that public money is being thrown at the event for very little return.

The A2B Yacht race will be held in February 2014 and is modelled on the Sydney to Hobart Race.

Residents are concerned that the Invercargill City Council has contributed $280,000 to the event, along with the Invercargill Licensing Trust and the Central Trust of Southland. The Government will contribute nearly $500,000.

One resident, Sheree Chapman says there needs to be more community involvement. She says the organisers are ignoring community concerns and there needs to be a mechanism for locals to make money from the event.

The event's co-owner, Craig Seuseu, says there will be major tourism opportunities for the people of Bluff, as thousands will come to see the event.

Council chief executive Richard King says naysayers are ignoring the value of major events to the region's economy.