Entries Open for Bay of Islands Sailing Week 2024

NZ’s biggest multi-day keelboat regatta – Bay of Islands Sailing Week – has opened entries for the next edition of the event, to be held from 23-26 January 2024.

Bay of Islands Sailing Week – dubbed “NZ’s best big boat regatta” by yachting commentator PJ Montgomery, is hugely popular among the sailing community in New Zealand, and many sailors regard it as the highlight of the annual yacht racing calendar. The event combines three days of high calibre racing with a fun-filled festival atmosphere on shore in a world class visitor destination, and regularly attracts well over 100 boats and their crews to take part from around New Zealand and overseas.

This year organisers say they are planning to ramp up the party atmosphere even more with the regatta moving to a new venue adjacent the Bay of Islands Marina and Opua launching ramp. Regatta committee Chair Ian Clouston says the new venue will mean easier access, more space and better views for regatta participants to enjoy.

“We’ve been working closely with Far North Holdings Ltd on the new venue, and we’re really pleased to be able to move the event hub there. We’ll have the marquee overlooking the marina which is a great backdrop, and it’s much more central so it’ll be closer for most participants. There’s more room too so we’ll be able to offer a lot more for the sailors to enjoy before and after racing each day.”

Now entering its 22nd year, the regatta has had a challenging few years of late, with the 2022 event cancelled due to Covid restrictions, and the 2023 event affected by bad weather. But organisers have high hopes the 2024 event will be a return to the regatta’s heyday, and as always have their sights set on a record-breaking number of attendees.

“Our previous record for entries just before Covid came along was 139 boats”, Clouston says, “and of course we’re always trying to make it bigger and better than before. There’s also the inaugural Sydney to Auckland race in October this year, so we might see a few more international entries if owners decide to keep their boats in New Zealand to take part in events here, and Bay of Islands Sailing Week would have to be one on a lot of Aussie sailors’ lists.”

Bay of Islands Sailing Week takes place from 23 to 26 January 2024, with racing throughout the spectacular Bay of Islands, and evening entertainment in Opua. The Notice of Race is available on the website and entries are invited from keelboats, multihulls, trailer yachts and sport boats.

Bay of Islands Sailing Week is made possible thanks to the efforts of the many volunteers who contribute, and the support of Northland Inc, FNDC, Far North Holdings, North Sails, Explore Bay of Islands, the NZL Sailing Foundation, Mount Gay Rum, Bay of Islands Marina, Luxury Real Estate, Bluefix Boatworks and Gurit, along with many other local businesses.

For more information visit www.bayofislandssailingweek.org.nz.