Early entries encouraged for Bay of Islands Sailing Week 2024

© Lissa Photography

Competitors are being urged to get their entry in early for the 2024 Bay of Islands Sailing Week regatta, with a fantastic prize up for grabs for those who do, and additional late entry fees for those who don’t.

Early birds who sign up and pay their regatta entry fee by 31st December will go in the draw to win a top-of-the-line Gill Offshore sailing jacket from Burnsco in Opua. While skippers who are late to the start line and don’t enter in time will be hit with an additional late entry fee of $100 on top of their normal entry fee.

“We know it seems like it’s still a long way over the horizon,” says regatta Chair Ian Clouston, “but the early entry deadline always comes around faster than you think. It’s just after Christmas and time always seems to speed up at the end of the year.”

Organisers say they’ve kept the entry fees at the same level as last year, but they’ve increased the additional late entry fee from $75 to $100 this year. They hope the change will encourage more competitors to enter before the 31st December cut-off, which helps the volunteer organising committee run a successful event.

“If we know which boats are competing in each division nice and early it lets us plan the regatta much more easily,” says Clouston. “We can make sure we have the resources we need to run all our races. All our on-water race officials, judges, mark layers – they’re all volunteers, just like the organising committee, so we need time to plan ahead and organise the people we need, as well as transport and accommodation for them too.”

The event is gearing up for its 21st edition from 23rd to 26th January 2024, and there are already 20 yachts on the entry list, with at least a further 80 expected to sign up before the regatta begins. Organisers hope a new venue for the regatta, at the southern end of the Bay of Islands Marina in Opua, will provide more space, better views and a festival atmosphere for the hundreds of sailors and their friends and family expected to take part.

Bay of Islands Sailing Week – described by Peter Montgomery as “the best big-boat regatta in New Zealand” – is the country’s biggest multi-day keelboat regatta, and one of the Southern Hemisphere’s premier sailing events. It attracts sailors from around NZ and overseas thanks to its unique combination of top class yacht racing in one of the most spectacular sailing destinations in the world.

More information and online entry form can be found at www.bayofislandssailingweek.org.nz, and entry to the early entry prize draw for a Gill Offshore jacket cheers to Burnsco is automatic for those entered and paid by 31st December 2023.

© Lissa Photography. Bay of Islands Sailing Week is organised and run almost entirely by volunteers, many of whom return to help year after year.