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The 19th CRC Bay of Islands Sailing Week has kicked off today despite a Covid scare. Our team is out on the water covering it and will keep you informed.
As the 19th CRC Bay of Islands Sailing Week kicks off with Registration in Opua today, organisers are thankful they could host an event at all. With the startling news of a Covid-19 case in Northland just two days before the regatta was due to start, the organising committee remained hopeful, but realistic that a last-minute cancellation could be on the cards if the government raised the alert level.
“We had a Zoom meeting on Sunday,” says event Chair Nina Kiff, “and we decided all we could do was keep going as if the regatta was going ahead, but be prepared to pack it all in if that’s what the government advised.”
With hundreds of sailors crewing 116 boats entered in the regatta, and over 60 volunteers lending their time and energy to help make the event happen, there is relief all round that the regatta can still go ahead in line with government guidelines.
“It would have been such a shame for everyone taking part, as a lot of them come up from Auckland and Tauranga and all over”, says Nina.
Nina says they are taking all precautions in line with government advice, and are reminding competitors to stay home if unwell, use the NZ Covid Tracer app to scan the QR codes around the regatta area and marina, and wash their hands frequently.
This year organisers say they have been blown away by the support shown to the event by both sponsors and entrants. With all the uncertainty of the past year, organisers had expected sponsorship funding would be difficult to secure, and entries to be down. But all the regatta’s sponsors came back on board, and entry numbers are easily as high as they were in 2019, despite a lack of overseas boats.
“We’ve been really overwhelmed with the support from our sponsors”, says regatta Chair and co-founder Nina Kiff. “We did think we might struggle to cover costs this year, but our sponsors were so supportive and they all came back on board without hesitation.”
The regatta is also stepping up its efforts to run a more sustainable event, having made huge strides in this direction last year. The event was awarded Gold Clean Regattas status by marine conservation organisation Sailors for the Sea for its “extraordinary waste management efforts”. Organisers say they are quietly hoping they can go one better this year and achieve Platinum status, thanks to new sustainability initiatives such as digital-only documentation via the event’s mobile app.
CRC Bay of Islands Sailing Week wouldn’t be possible without the support of its sponsors, headline sponsor CRC, along with North Sails, Explore, NZL Sailing Foundation, Mount Gay Rum, Luxury Real Estate, KZ Leisurefurl, Bay of Islands Marina, Gurit, NZ Spars & Rigging, Bluefix Boatworks and many other local businesses who lend their support.
Media Kit: All you need to know about CRC Bay of Islands Sailing Week 2021
Three days of competitive and fun racing for yachts of all shapes and sizes, plus evening entertainment.
Racing starts tomorrow, Wednesday 26 January, and continues through Thursday 28, concluding Friday 29 January.
Racing takes place throughout the Bay of Islands, with smaller boats racing inshore, and larger, faster boats racing in the outer Bay. The ‘Island Racing’ divisions sail longer courses using the area’s spectacular natural features and islands as race marks.
Evening entertainment is provided at the North Sails & Explore Marquee, at the Opua Cruising Club. A Beach Party on Thursday evening will be hosted by Otehei Bay Resort on Urupukapuka Island. The Prizegiving ceremony is in Opua on Friday, with live music from the Orongo Bay Garage Band.
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