There's plenty going on in the South Island this summer, with local, regional and even world championships, and some clubs will be celebrating milestones.
Marakura Yacht Club 50th Anniversary
The Marakura Yacht Club, located on Lake Te Anau, are celebrating their 50th anniversary over Easter weekend on April 19-21, 2019, and are promising a full programme of events which includes a dinner and dance on the Saturday and a three-day regatta.
Information, registration and early-bird tickets are available on the club's website or by calling 0272 403 654.
Bluff Oyster Regatta
The Bluff Yacht Club's Oyster Regatta is one of the highlights on the calendar and next year's event will be held on March 30-31.
This unique event promises to have both great sailing as well as a taste of southern hospitality off the water with delicacies fitting the name of the regatta.
Contact the club's racing office Grace Smith on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The top of the South Island will also be a focus this summer as the area hosts local, regional and even world championships.
The Nelson Yacht Club are hosting the South Island Laser Championships on December 1-2, which will be held in conjunction with the Marlborough Nelson Championships. The notice of race is available at http://www.nelsonyachtclub.org.nz/ or by contacting the regatta coordinator, Callum Foley-Logan, on email@example.com
The club are well under way with their repairs following the major weather event storm in February; piles have been replaced, concrete laid and work is under way with the decking. The Nelson Yacht Club are hoping for work to be finished by February's Flying Dutchman world championships
Evolution Sails Nelson Regatta
The nearby Tasman Bay Cruising Club are hosting the annual Evolution Sails Nelson Regatta in mid-January which will include a variety of racing and events for sports and trailer boats as well as keelboats.
The inaugural Nelson Regatta was conceived in 2009 by a group of local sailors, with ambitions of placing the region back on the national sailing map. Over the years, the format has evolved to create a competitive and social week of racing that showcases the beauty of Tasman Bay.
Next year they are expanding the regatta. On top of the usual sports boats and trailer boats, there will also be a cruising division for keelboat owners who want to take part but prefer not to race round the buoys.
The regatta is scheduled to start on the evening of January 18 with a rum race in the harbour for all divisions, and will be followed by two days of round-the-buoys racing.
During this time, the annual Wellington to Nelson race, and a feeder race from Waikawa, will bring visiting keelers to Nelson.
Keeler racing will continue, with the official keeler division starting on Sunday with three races for the Romeo and Juliet divisions, and a coastal race for the cruising boats.
On Monday, the keelboats will set off across Tasman Bay for two days of coastal racing which will include a night in Torrent Bay. All keelboats will need to have sufficient food and fuel on board for an overnight stay away from Nelson.
Need for Speed
Only five spaces remain for the Need for Speed, an Optimist clinic to be held in the Marlborough Sounds from December 18-21.
While there is a focus on speed, and training / sailing will be on the waters used for the Interislander Regatta, there will also be an accent on fun and adventure. On the first day, for instance, participants will sail their boats across the sounds to the Mistletoe Bay Eco Village where they will be camping in the whare-style accommodation.
Coaching will be provided to suit all sailing levels, and there will also be a coach coming from the United States to provide an international flavour.
The clinic is a four-day course and will be the premier coaching clinic for open Optimist sailors, in the South Island this summer. Up to 30 spaces are available for financial members of NZIODA.
Registrations can be done online at www.qcyc.org.nz/siopticlinic.php or contact Lisa Edwards on 027 205 0030 for more information.
2018 WineWorks Marlborough Wine Race
Light conditions in the Cook Strait resulted in some close racing in the annual win race which sees boats carrying the latest Marlborough vintages across the strait to Wellington.
Unfortunately, strong southerlies for several days beforehand led to the withdrawal of several boats from the original fleet of 47, unable to make the start line from Wellington.
With clubs from Nelson, Wellington, Canterbury and Marlborough represented, the racing was tight throughout the fleet, with some placings coming down to tactical decisions made in the final stretch to the line.
Codebreaker, Gary Craig's Thompson 38 sailing out of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, took line honours by less than two minutes from 2017 line winner Satellite Spy, the Ross 40 helmed by Matt Kerr (Waikawa Boating Club).
The tight racing continued, with High Voltage beating Paradigm by 42 seconds, all the while having to be aware of the proximity of Clear Vision which was engaged in a duel with Oldsmobile - Clear Vision prevailed by only 20 seconds after nearly seven hours of racing.
The light conditions ensured that the middle of the fleet would be well represented on the podium on corrected time and so it proved with the Jeanneau 36 Sequin taking the race on handicap from Family Affair with Olmari third.
Sequin was carrying the 2018 Sauvignon Blanc from Clos Marguerite.
While notable for the greatest number of entries yet, the race also marked a major milestone for sponsors WineWorks Marlborough - they have been major sponsor for 10 years.
South Island Elliot 6 Championships
Naval Point Club Lyttelton again hosted the South Island Elliot 6 championships, when eight teams from around the South Island competed for the Provisionals Elliot 6 South Island trophies.
Nelson Yacht Club, who squeaked into gold fleet, found their stride and finished with three bullets to take the title by one point over Charteris Bay Yacht Club and Naval Point.
The conditions were superb for most of the three days of racing, with north-easterlies of 10-15 knots ensuring some terrific racing, especially when the tide turned and produced some exciting waves.