New Zealand's KZ7's marvellous attempt to win the America's Cup in the waters off Fremantle, Western Australia, in the summer of 1986-87 focused the attention and admiration of yachtsmen the world over on New Zealand.
That New Zealand did so well in its first assault on the most important event on the international yachting calendar is a tribute to designers, builders, and sailors - and the syndicate which backed the challenge.
It was the skills developed and honed in other Blue Water Classics in recent years that took New Zealand so far in the America's Cup. As a tribute to New Zealand's participation in ocean racing, a set of four stamps was released..
Product Listing for Blue Water Classics
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Single 40c 'Southern Cross Cup' gummed stamp.
The Southern Cross event was a 1967 tack-on to the annual 630 mile Sydney to Hobart race and grew out of Australia's victory in the 1967 Admiral's Cup. Australian yachties believed it was time for a Southern Hemisphere equivalent of the Admiral's Cup and the Southern Cross Cup was the outcome. The arrival of the Southern Cross added a new edge of competition to the Sydney-Hobart.
Single 80c 'Admiral's Cup' gummed stamp.
Sailed every other year in late summer in the waters off the south of England, the Admiral's Cup ocean-racing series attracts more national teams and yachts than any other. Since 1977 the series has comprised five races - the 200 mile Channel Race; three 35 mile inshore events; and the 605 mile Fastnet. Points are doubled for the Channel race and tripled for the Fastnet. New Zealand won the trophy in 1987.
Single $1.05 'Kenwood Cup' gummed stamp.
The event, based in Hawaii, began in 1978 and is raced every second year. It carried the name Clipper Cup however in 1986, when a new sponsor was found, the series became known as the Kenwood Cup. The contest has evolved to the classic five-race format: two 27 mile Olympic course races; the 150 mile windward-leeward Molokai race from Honolulu to Maui and back; a 27 miler; and the testing 775 mile Round the State race. New Zealand held the trophy in 1987.
Single $1.30 'America's Cup' gummed stamp.
The symbol of international yachting supremacy. The America's Cup had its beginnings in 1851 when the New York Club sent the newly built schooner America across the Atlantic to challenge a 15 yacht British fleet in a race around the Isle of Wight. The Americans took the trophy 'the Hundred Guinea Cup' home and renamed it the 'America's Cup'. In 1983, after 132 years, the America's Cup left the United States after being won by Australia. In 1987, off Freemantle Australia, the Americans won it back again.
|First Day Cover||First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.||$3.72|
|Date of issue:||2 February 1987|
|Denominations:||40c - Southern Cross Cup, 80c - Admiral's Cup, $1.05 Kenwood Cup, $1.30 America's Cup|
|Designer:||Rod Proud, Auckland|
|Printer and process:||Leigh-Mardon Pty Ltd, Melbourne; Lithography|
|Stamp size and format:||28.5mm x 42.5mm (horizontal)|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||100|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 29 April 1988.|