Your Questions Answered

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On-water and racing questions

Which division should I enter?

The regatta has racing to suit all types of boats, crews and racing styles. There are two main types of racing you can enter:

  • Open Racing Divisions: compete in up to two windward/leeward races plus one bay race each day, for a total of up to 9 races during the regatta.
  • Island Racing Divisions: compete in just one longer bay race each day, for a total of up to 3 races during the regatta.

Which Open Racing Division?

There are dedicated Open Racing Divisions for Multihulls, Sport Boats and Young 88s. For all other boats, as a general guide, the Open Racing divisions are divided by handicap roughly as follows:

Division PHRF LOA
A 0.970 and above 15.1 m & above
B 0.830 – 0.970 12 m – 15 m
C 0.700 – 0.839 8.8 m – 11.9 m
E less than 0.700 below 8.8 m


Which Island Racing Division?

There are dedicated Island Racing Divisions for Multihulls, and Non Spinnaker for boats that choose to sail without extras.

For all other boats in Island Racing, you’ll select Island Racing on the entry form, and the handicapper will then create divisions based on the total number of boats entered, and allocate your division on handicap.

Check out our Handicapping Policy for more information on how we arrive at each boat’s handicap and division.

What about multihulls?

You have two options:

  • Open Racing M Division (for windward/leeward and bay racing), or
  • Island Racing – Multihull (for bay racing only).

I don’t want to use a spinnaker – can I still enter?

Yes – you can enter the Island Racing (Non-Spinnaker) division.

I don’t have a PHRF handicap – does that matter?

You can race without a PHRF handicap, as all boats get general handicaps anyway. But if you want to compete for PHRF titles, you’ll need to ensure you have an up-to-date endorsed certificate.

Can I change the division I’ve entered?

You can update your entry on the TopYacht online entry system, which allows you to change the division you have entered. That said, we want fleets that are competitive so the handicapper may shift boats between divisions, combine divisions, or if entry numbers warrant it, create new divisions to achieve that.

How are handicaps calculated?

We use an independent handicapper to set initial General Handicaps, which are then adjusted throughout the event. Read our full Handicapping Policy for more information on how handicaps are calculated, and by whom.

Can I enter/pay my entry fee at Registration?

Yes – entries remain open until the end of Registration at 1700hrs on the Tuesday before racing begins on Wednesday. We prefer payment upon entry via the TopYacht online entry system, as it allows us to better plan the event and divisions based on early notification of numbers. But it is possible to enter and pay right up until the end of Registration.

I have entered – what happens next?

We will see you at Registration on Tuesday between 1400 and 1700hrs in the regatta Marquee, followed by the mandatory race briefing.

Sailing Instructions can be viewed via the BOISW Mobile App and will be available by Registration Day.

Can I get a refund if I have to pull out?

If you aren’t able to participate in the event once you have entered and paid, please request a refund by contacting us.

Why isn’t my entry showing on the entry list?

Your entry should be visible on the TopYacht entry list straight away, and on our Entry List on the website within a few days. If your entry isn’t showing please contact us and we will follow it up.

Can I enter offline?

We prefer entries via the TopYacht entry system, but if for some reason you can’t enter that way, please contact us and request a paper entry form be sent to you.

Where are the Sailing Instructions?

The Sailing Instructions will be available via the BOISW Mobile App by Registration. There will be a mandatory briefing after Registration, but you are still responsible for familiarising yourself with the Sailing Instructions.

Will there be safety inspections?

All vessels are required to comply with the relevant safety regulations for their vessel type and division as stated in the Notice of Race, and random safety inspections may be carried out on the dock or on water during the event to check compliance.

Can I rent a marina berth?

Contact the marina office on 09 402 7124, or email, or use the online Book a Berth form.

It may also be possible to rent a mooring – check the Moorings Northland website or NRC moorings listings for available moorings.

Is there a water taxi?

We will operate a free Water Taxi if there is demand for it, for example if marina berth shortages mean boats have to berth on the Q Dock, or on moorings/anchor.

Where can I find crew, or a boat to crew on?

We have a Crew Wanted & Available page – contact us to get listed.

On shore questions

Where can I park in Opua?

Parking is very limited in Opua, so please think carefully before you bring your car to the regatta. If possible try to car-share with others. If you’re renting a marina berth, you can check with the marina to see if you can use the marina car park.

What time does the bar close in the marquee?

Generally speaking, the bar in the marquee closes between 2100hrs and 2300hrs on Wednesday and Thursday, and at midnight on Friday, but this may change based on how busy the bar is.

Will food be available at Regatta HQ?

Yes – you’ll be able to purchase meals and snacks after racing.

What evening entertainment is there?

There will be a DJ and live music on Wednesday, Beach Party on Thursday (DJ at Regatta HQ), and live music on Friday for the prizegiving ceremony.

Where can I get a packed lunch on race days?

The Opua Store makes packed lunches to order as stocks of sandwiches quickly run out on race days.

How do I get to the Beach Party?

Explore Bay of Islands run heavily discounted ferries to the Beach Party and back, and tickets will be available closer to the event. While it’s possible to take your own boat to the Beach Party, we’d recommend you take the ferry to avoid the hassles of anchoring, and getting back to Opua late at night.

What times are the Opua-Russell ferries?

Check out the ferry timetables for the Opua-Okiato vehicle ferry, and the Paihia-Russell passenger ferry, on the Northland Ferries website.

Can I buy branded event clothing?

Yes – we’ll have Bay of Islands Sailing Week gear available to purchase at the event, and to pre-order before the event.

Get Involved

How can I help out at the event?

Volunteers are the heart of this event, and we’re always keen to hear from anyone who would like to help out at the regatta. There are opportunities to get on the water to help with racing, or to volunteer on shore, so there’s something for everyone. Please contact us if you want to volunteer.

How can I sponsor the regatta?

If you’d like to sponsor or support the regatta financially in some way, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us to discuss sponsorship options.

Where can I give feedback?

We welcome all feedback that will help us to make the regatta better – please contact us with your feedback.