After a tough upwind slog brought about by Covid-19, Island Cruising NZ is changing tack and has a new owner at the helm.
Island Cruising the business has been around since the 1980s and has become renown world-wide in the sailing community.
The main aims are to run yacht rallies through the Pacific, provide advice, support and training courses for people planning on sailing on long coastal or overseas voyages, give assistance to cruisers visiting New Zealand, help promote the New Zealand marine industry and provide social networking, discounts and other events for their members.
Nigel and Amanda Richards purchased the business in 2017 and ran three very successful rallies to the Pacific Islands before New Zealand border closures made any further rallies impossible. They had intended to ride out the pandemic but earlier this year approached Viki Moore to gauge her interest in taking over the business.
“There’s a saying among the cruising community that plans are best made in the sand at low tide, meaning that anything can happen, and Covid certainly did that,” Nigel said. “We had a few fantastic years of leading rallies to the Pacific, but now it is time for a sea-change for us and we are happy to hand over the wheel to the new owner.”
Viki Moore has taken over the business. Photos: Peter Moore.
Moore is based in Christchurch and has been sailing all her life. She's an active racer and cruiser, recently completed her offshore yachtmaster exam, been president of the Little Ship Club of Canterbury since 2014, started a Facebook group called Women Who Sail New Zealand and been on the board of Yachting New Zealand since 2017.
She also has extensive experience in the travel industry, has worked in parliament, speaks conversational French, Japanese and Māori, writes a popular sailing blog, owns a marine public relations business called the Marine Voice and more recently has been advocating for international cruisers in New Zealand affected by boarder closures.
“I am really excited about the opportunity that Nigel and Amanda have given me to take over the business” Moore said.
“Often the number of steps required to prepare the vessel and crew for a longer coastal, or offshore voyage can seem overwhelming. I hope to be able to work alongside members to break down these tasks in to more manageable bites, providing advice, assistance and support while they are overseas to help them achieve their sailing goals.
“We have so many fantastic cruising destinations in New Zealand, so if the Pacific opens up or remains closed, I’d like to encourage cruisers to explore their own back yard, too.”
There are already plans under way for a rally to the South Island this summer, as well as expeditions to the Pacific next year and Japan in 2023.
Nigel and Amanda are 100 percent supportive of Moore's plans for the business.
“We are looking forward to helping Viki in the background and ensuring success for her and Island Cruising NZ well in to the future,” Amanda said.