Regatta Information

What is Bay of Islands Sailing Week?

Bay of Islands Sailing Week is the biggest event of its kind in New Zealand – a multi-day sailing regatta primarily for keelboats, trailer yachts and multihulls. Established in 2003, this annual regatta is now a highlight of the sailing calendar for New Zealand sailors and a growing number of overseas sailors from Australia and the Pacific too.

When is it?

The regatta takes place at the end of January, in the week preceding Auckland & Northland Anniversary Weekend each year.

The 4-day regatta format includes Registration on the Tuesday evening, followed by three days of racing Wednesday to Friday, with Prizegiving on Friday evening.

Where does it take place?

As the name suggests, Bay of Islands Sailing Week is held in the spectacular Bay of Islands, on the east coast of Northland in the upper North Island of New Zealand. The location boasts superb sailing, stunning scenery, bountiful marine life and friendly locals.

Regatta HQ

The regatta is based in Opua, a small coastal town located just off SH11 a few kilometres south of Paihia. Regatta registration, briefing and evening entertainment take place here in the main regatta marquee.

Regatta Race Courses

Racing is held throughout the Bay of Islands, in three separate race areas.

  1. Outer Course for A, B, M & Young 88 divisions (Windward / Leeward and Bay Races)
  2. Middle/Inner Course for C, E & Sports Boats divisions (Windward / Leeward and Bay Races)
  3. Island Racing, all of which will sail one Bay Race a day.

Beach Party

One of the best-loved traditions of Bay of Islands Sailing Week is the Thursday-night Beach Party. In recent years this has been held on stunning Urupukapuka Island, courtesy of regatta sponsor Explore, who host the party at their Otehei Bay resort.

Coming from out of town?

Berths and Moorings

The Bay of Islands Marina offers berths, although there are often shortages at this busy time of year. Contact the Bay of Islands Marina office +64 9 402 7124 or

Booking early is advised, and be sure to mention you’re booking for Bay of Islands Sailing Week when you contact the marina.

If you can’t book a berth in advance, don’t worry. We will be working closely with Bay of Islands Marina to provide solutions for everyone who wishes to participate in Bay of Islands Sailing Week. In the past this has included berthing boats on the Q Dock, or on moorings or at anchor, in which case we will provide a free Water Taxi to all regatta participants.

Marine Facilities

A wide range of marine facilities are available at Opua. These include:


The Bay of Islands offers a fantastic range of places to stay. Check out the options at

Parking 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.

Food & drink

Meals and snacks are available at Regatta HQ each evening, and there is a licensed bar in the marquee.

Please note the bar works on a ticket system (no cash bar), so please purchase tickets at the Eftpos kiosk in the marquee. These tickets can be used to purchase both drinks and food. We advise everyone to stock up early and avoid the queues.

Breakfast and coffees can be purchased from Regatta HQ in the morning from 7am, as well as the Opua Store, open from 6.30am each morning, and the Marina Cafe, open from 8am each morning.

Lunches are available from the Opua Store. Phone 09 402 7575 or use the packed lunch order form.