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.
The regatta is based in Opua, a small coastal town located just off SH11 a few kilometres south of Paihia. Regatta registration and evening entertainment take place here in the main regatta marquee.
Evening entertainment for the next regatta is to be confirmed – check back soon for more info.
Regatta Race Courses
Racing is held throughout the Bay of Islands, in three separate race areas.
- Outer Course for A, B and M divisions (Windward / Leeward and Bay Races)
- Middle Course for C, E, Sports Boats and Young 88 divisions (Windward / Leeward and Bay Races)
- Island Racing, all of which will sail one Bay Race a day.
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
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.
A wide range of marine facilities are available at Opua. These include:
- Haulout facilities – Bay of Islands Boatyard
- Sails & rigging – North Sails Bay of Islands
- Marine engineers & electricians
- Boat & outboard sales & repairs
- Marine chandleries
The Bay of Islands offers a fantastic range of places to stay. Check out the options at www.northlandnz.com
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 the Opua Store, open from 6.30am, each morning.
Lunches are available from the Opua Store. Phone 09 402 7575 or use the packed lunch order form.