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Sailing fans using hotels in Auckland are in for a treat on February 26th, when one of New Zealand's premier maritime events comes to town.

The BMW Auckland Regatta takes place over three days in the waters of the city's Waitemata Harbour and off Eastern Beach.

This year, visitors can expect to see one of the biggest fleets to ever congregate in the Kiwi capital, with amateur sailors competing across 17 divisions including keelboats, multihulls and sportsboats.

A hectic schedule of parties, prize-giving ceremonies and other social events means that there is also plenty to keep those without a major interest in sailing occupied.

However, for many people it will be all about the events in the water, with the amateur crews in each division earning the chance to compete for the BMW Sailing Cup.

This is the country's most prestigious amateur sailing series and also takes place in Auckland. The winner is rewarded with an all-expenses paid trip to Europe for the world final, which took place at Italy's Lake Garda last year.

For 2010, the BMW Sailing Cup has been scheduled for March 13th and 14th, so people planning a longer stay in Auckland can look forward to even more top-class sailing action.

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