Your Questions Answered

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On-water and racing questions

Which division should I enter?

If you have a Sport Boat, a Young 88, or want to race without spinnakers it’s easy – you have your own division to enter.

Otherwise, you have the choice between the general racing divisions or the Island Racing divisions.

The general racing divisions offer up to three races a day depending on the wind, usually two windward/leewards followed by a bay race.

The Island Racing divisions are for more laid back racers. One race around the Bay of Islands each day. And you start half an hour later than the general racing fleet, so you get to sleep in as well.

We want fleets that are competitive so we may shift boats between divisions, or combine divisions, or, if entry numbers warrant it, create new divisions, to achieve that. Check out our Handicapping Policy for more information on how we arrive at each boat’s handicap and division.

However as a general guide, the general racing divisions are divided roughly like this:

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

For Island Racing, the division splits work roughly like this:

Division PHRF LOA
Island Racing A 0.875 and above above 12m
Island Racing B 0.740 – 0.875 10 m – 12 m
Island Racing C Less than 0.745 less than 10m
Island Racing E (non-spinnaker) Less than 0.745 less than 10m

Once most entries are received we can review this with the aim of getting competitive fleets with about the same number of boats in them. You can use spinnakers in Island Racing Divisions A, B, C and D.

What about multihulls?

You have two options — M division for multihull general racing, or Island Racing F division for multihulls.

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

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

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

No – 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 we 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 1800hrs 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 1600 and 1800hrs in the regatta Marquee. There is no race briefing – you’ll receive your Sailing Instructions at Registration.

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 at Registration on Tuesday between 1600 and 1800 hrs in the Marquee beside the Opua Cruising Club, and online via the website and app. There is no race briefing – you are 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 on-water safety inspections may be carried out during the event to check compliance.

Can I rent a marina berth?

Space at Bay of Islands Marina in Opua is limited, so we suggest booking early to avoid disappointment. 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?

No – if you’re planning to use a mooring or anchor out, you’ll need to provide your own shore transport.

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 can purchase meals after racing inside the Opua Cruising Club, and snacks outside the club, by the marquee.

What evening entertainment is there?

There will be a DJ on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and a band on Friday for the prizegiving ceremony. On Thursday evening there’s a Beach Party too.

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. We’ll publish the packed lunch order form closer to the event.

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 Fullers website here.

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 closer to 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.