SailGP gives Northland economy a big boost

Northland's economy is set for a massive boost, with the region being used as a training ground for a new sailing competition set to rival the America's Cup.

'Sail GP' is the brainchild of Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, who dubbed it "nothing the sport's ever seen".

But the first people to see the boats gliding through the water at Marsden Cove near Whangarei are Kiwis.

It is something billionaire Larry Ellison wants the sporting world to see.

SailGP is the glitzy new league dubbed the Grand Prix of Sailing.

Launched by Mr Ellison and Russell Coutts - the six-team competition will begin next year.

But before the world sees these catamarans - they're being tested at Bream Bay and Marsden Point, in Northland.

It helps having a booming yacht building industry, north of Auckland.

More than one hundred staff are working on, and testing the boats.

Many are employed by Mr Ellison's Warkworth based company "Core Builders Composites".

Their presence further north, a coup for local business.

That economic boost is set to increase, with the teams still to arrive here for testing.

SailGP's operation will be set up at Marsden Point for another couple of months..

It'll then head to Australia for the launch of the competition.

Northland isn't quite on the new league's circuit just yet....

But it's fair to say New Zealand is still playing a major role, in what could be the future of the sport.