Back to top anchor
Close main menu
Open main menu Close main menu

Regional roundup: Coaching courses a winter hit

Issue date

Our four NZCT regional development managers bring you the latest news from around the country, including an update on the encouraging number of new sailing coaches who completed courses this winter.


Just over 90 coaches have already completed the Yachting New Zealand Learn to Sail (dinghy) coach course since April. 

Moratz thrilled with 91 new coaches

There aren’t many things Kirsten Moratz is more passionate about than coaching and data, so it’s no surprise then that Yachting New Zealand's coach development manager can hardly hide her excitement about the impressive number of people who have completed the Learn to Sail (dinghy) coaching courses this winter.

Moratz and a team of coach developers, with the help of Yachting New Zealand’s four regional development managers, have seen almost 100 coaches trained during seven courses across the country since April.

Interest in Auckland, especially, meant an additional course – last month at Northcote Birkenhead Yacht Club was added to the original calendar that saw courses held at New Plymouth Yacht Club, Evans Bay Yacht and Motor Boat Club, Howick Sailing Club, Hamilton Yacht Club, Manly Sailing Club and Nelson Yacht Club.

The total number of coaches trained over the last six months now stands at 91 – considerably more than the same period a year earlier.

“It has been very encouraging to see the number of people who have expressed an interest in upskilling this winter and, equally, the fantastic job our various coach developers have done,” Moratz said.

At least one more course is planned at Wanaka Yacht Club on November 3-5 and budding sailing coaches in the area are encouraged to register.

“Whether you are a young sailor looking to give back, a parent eager to learn more, or coordinating the Learn to Sail program at your club, this course is designed to get you started on your coaching journey,” Moratz said.

“With flexible weekend sessions and online modules, it's easy to fit the course into your schedule.”

Anyone wanting to take the course must:

  • Complete the Coaching Yachting 101 online modules.
  • Complete the Child Safeguarding modules (through the Sport New Zealand catalogue)
  • Have intermediate sailing ability.
  • Be confident in and around the water.
  • Be at least 14 years of age.

To sign up for a Yachting New Zealand Learn to Sail (dinghy) coach course, follow these easy steps:

  • Go to and create an account by clicking “Sign Up”. It’s important this is done with your young coach’s email address so they have their own learning account and journey set up.
  • Go to the Yachting NZ Course Catalogue, and complete Coaching Yachting 101. It should take no more than an hour or two to complete.
  • Sign up for the specific course in your region, you can search the club name in the search bar of the course catalogue to find it.


The Bridge of Doom was a big hit at the O'pen Skiff season opener. Photo / Bay of Islands Yacht Club

O’pen Skiffs start season with a bang

New Zealand O’pen Skiff sailors kicked off their regatta season in style at the Northland O’pen Cup late last month.

Despite a last-minute change of venue to the Bay of Islands Yacht Club, sailors, families, supporters, and club members pulled together to ensure an amazing weekend filled with competitive fleet racing, adventure races, food, skiff acrobatics, and fun.

With young O’pen Skiff alumni playing a huge role in running the event from photography to coaching, the spirit of family, friendship, and connection was alive at this three-day event.

Coaches Andy Child and Aevril Hibbard led the coaching clinic on Saturday (September 23), under windy and wavy conditions.  

The clinic had something for everyone with gold, silver and development fleets all honing their skills.

Points racing started the next day with the gold and silver fleets completing four races with a reaching start/finish in a 12+ knot shifty southerly, while the development fleet had seven short course races.

On the second day of points racing, the gold and silver fleets got in one final race on “The Pretzel” course under a dying southerly.  While waiting for wind, the sailors put on a display of skiff acrobatics for the race committee.

Points racing soon shifted to fun racing as the Bridge of Doom arrived and all fleets came together (along with some alumni helms) for a few fun races. 

Full results here.

Sailors from several classes will sail in the 2023 STACK Winter Champs at Murrays Bay Sailing Club. Photo / Murrays Bay Sailing Club

Sailors from several classes will race in the 2023 STACK Winter Champs. Photo / Murrays Bay Sailing Club

STACK Winter Champs is back

The STACK Winter Champs is back - and happening this weekend at Murrays Bay Sailing Club.

The event kicks off with a junior coaching clinic tomorrow (October 5) and Friday (October 6), followed by the regatta on Saturday and Sunday (October 7-8).

It is open to those sailing Optimist, O'pen Skiff, P Class, Starling, ILCA 6, RS Feva, 420, 29er, Waszp, Moth, 49er, 49erFX, windfoil and wingfoil.

For more information, click here.


Revelry is third overall, only eight points behind Reggae Shark. Photo / Supplied

Plenty on the line for Elliott 5.9s

The final regatta of the 2023 Harken Traveller Series will be sailed out of Sandspit Yacht Club this weekend.

Sandspit has always proved to be an excellent location for the final regatta with most crew staying at the local camping ground, and the venue being a great location for family and supporters. 

Tony Poolman (Zoot Allures) is catering the get-together BBQ on Friday night, with a more formal end-of-series meal at the yacht club on Saturday. 

On the water, there is still a lot to race for - even though Shapeshifter has an unassailable lead at the top of the series table.

R+R, who have had to miss a number of regattas this year, is back and will hope to end on a high.

Also, in the class rankings, the absence of R+R has allowed Shapeshifter to creep up on them, with the crews now tied on 1.47 at the top. Whoever finishes ahead this weekend, will be the top-ranked Elliott 5.9.

Reggae Shark and Revelry are second and third, respectively, and are separated by only eight points after four regattas.

For more information, click here.


Howick Sailing Club turns 90 this month. 

Milestone birthday for Howick Sailing Club

Howick Sailing Club will celebrate a significant milestone later this month with some racing, snacks - and a few trips down memory lane. 

The club turns 90, and will mark the occasion with racing on Saturday (October 28), after an evening of drinks, nibbles and stories from 6.30pm.

All ages, classes, and abilities are welcome to join in on and off the water.

Based in East Auckland, the club was founded in October 1933 and continues to play a key role in the community, working closely with the local Coast Guard and supporting water safety programmes in local schools. 

It is a safe, family-friendly club offering Learn to Sail courses as well as a year-round top-tier dinghy racing programme.

Click here to register for the anniversary event.

Enter now for Flying Fifteen nationals

Entries are now open for the 2023 Flying Fifteen national championships to be held at Lake Taupō Yacht Club in November.

Registration is set to take place between 5pm and 6pm on Thursday (November 9) and from 8.30am to 9.15am on Friday (November 10), with racing on all weekend.

With more than 140 other boats expected at the event, organisers are asking for anyone planning to attend to let them know early by clicking here.


Evans Bay Yacht and Motorboat Club was one of several unable to start their season with racing on Saturday. Photo / Supplied

False start for many North Island clubs

It was not the start to the season many clubs in the lower North Island were hoping for - with AP over A flying from flag poles at Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, Worser Bay Bay Boating Club, Evans Bay Yacht and Motor Boat Club, Lowry Bay Yacht Club, Muritai Yacht Club, Plimmerton Boating Club and New Plymouth Yacht Club for their opening days on Saturday.

Fortunately, Sunday was a little better with Paremata Boating Club and Waitara Boating Club both getting under way.

The school holidays did give clubs a chance to get their junior Learn to Sail programmes started with 20 new sailors completing the course at New Plymouth, five at the Waitara and 10 at Paremata.

It was also a good chance for many of the new coaches, who have recently completed their LTS coach courses in their regions, to put their new skills to the test.


Paremata Boating Club had some sailing on Sunday. Photo / Supplied


NZIODA will run two clinics this season. Photo / NZIODA

Registration opens for first NZIODA clinic

The New Zealand International Optimist Dinghy Association (NZIODA), in collaboration with clubs around the country, will run two clinics this season.

Registrations are now open for the first NZIODA South Island Opti Clinic to be held at Nelson Yacht Club from December 17-19.

It will be a non-residential clinic sailing out of the club itself, with plenty of accommodation options nearby for families from outside the region.

The clinic will cater to all Opti sailors from those starting out in green fleet, dipping their toes into racing in the white fleet, and the more experienced open-fleet sailors.

For more information and to book your place, click here.


Renovation efforts have started at Naval Point Club Lyttelton. Photo / Supplied

NPCL upgrades under way

The big demo is well under way at Naval Point Club Lyttelton, with contractors moving in to begin the marina removal.

The old wharf and marina piles are in the process of being removed and will provide a large area in front of the club that can be used for Learn to Sail programmes and, hopefully, RŪNĀ sailing experiences.

The club is looking forward to the work being completed in the next month or so, which is all part of the redevelopment and upgrades in preparation for the 2025 Sail GP event.


Roy Roker.

Life membership award for Roy

Roy Roker has been honoured with the Otago Yachting Association Life Membership Award, following his near-60-year involvement with the sport in the region.

In a career that started in the 1960s, Roker's sailing includes everything from the 14ft X Class to a Sunburst, which he still competes in into his 70s.

He is also a former president of the Otago Yachting Association, a former commodore of Macandrew Bay Boating Club, and a former president of the New Zealand Sunburst Association.