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Regional roundup: Young Kiwis invited to join SailGP programmes

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Our NZCT regional development managers bring you the latest news from across the country - including two incredible opportunities for young Kiwis to get involved in next month's New Zealand SailGP event - in sailing, on- and off-water roles.


Enter now for SailGP racing, career programmes

Are you passionate about sailing and interested in the many career opportunities the sport has to offer?

Then don't miss out on the SailGP Inspire programme for 2024.

The team is back in Lyttelton next month (March 20-24) for season 4 of the popular event and is offering young Kiwis an incredible chance to get involved.

Inspire Careers gives students and young professionals a work experience opportunity (for up to a week) within a SailGP event environment. During the careers programme, young professionals (18+) are introduced to a variety of roles during the SailGP New Zealand event. These may include media and communications, photography and video, boatbuilding, hydraulics, ropes and rigging, on-water communications, sustainability, race management, shore-based management and more.

Organisers are encouraging university students to make their application as detailed as possible to ensure the best chance of being selected.

Applications close on February 23, with selections made the following week. 

SailGP Inspire will also be offering a racing programme, designed for anyone with sailing experience (youth do not need to have foiled before but it is beneficial in the selection process).

All applicants must be 21 or younger and selection takes place on February 14.

It's highly competitive and the top male and female who win the Christchurch event will be invited to participate in the SailGP Grand Final in San Francisco. Last year's finale was won by Stella Bilger.

Meanwhile, the RS Feva has again been selected to be a part of the SailGP Inspire programme, but no container will be heading down from the North Island this time - with the South Island fleet now well established.

Sailors with at least moderate sailing ability, under the age of 16, and who can borrow a boat in the South Island can apply to

All applications must be received before February 14. 


Coastguard NZ need tutors to deliver the Advanced Sea Survival course in the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch regions. Photo / Supplied

Coastguard NZ seeking paid tutors

Coastguard New Zealand is currently recruiting maritime tutors to deliver their popular boating courses to the public.

In particular, they need tutors to deliver the Advanced Sea Survival course in the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch regions. This is both a classroom and practical course.
Prospective tutors must have completed the Advanced Sea Survival course themselves, have blue water yachting experience and a Certificate in Adult Tertiary Teaching (CATT) level 4 or equivalent.

This is a paid role and you would be contracted to Coastguard NZ.
If you would like to give back to the sport and help the next generation of sailors, please get in touch at


Thomas Crook will be at Foil Bay of Islands. Photo / Adam Mustill Photography

Stars descend on Foil Bay of Islands

Foil Bay of Islands is an annual highlight on the New Zealand sailing calendar - and this year's event will be even more appealing as the windfoil and kitefoil national champions will be crowned.

It's no surprise then that entries are streaming in for the four classes (2024 Foil Bay of Islands will also feature wingfoil and Waszp fleets) - with over 50 already received more than a fortnight before the start of the regatta.

Three of the country's top windfoilers - Thomas Crook, Aimee Bright and Jack Parr - have confirmed their places on the startline, while Justina Kitchen, Hugo Wigglesworth and JJ Rice will also be in action on the kite.

The regatta is now in its sixth year and will again be hosted by the Bay of Islands Yacht Club from February 22-25. Foilers of all classes, ages and abilities are welcome. 

For more information and to enter, click here.


Jo Aleh was on hand to share tips at the Optimist and Starling Auckland championships. Photo / Tasmyn Rowntree

MBSC dominate in Optis at Auckland champs

Opti sailors Matteo Barker and Greta Hutton secured wins for Murrays Bay Sailing Club in the overall and female divisions at the 2024 Paul Neshausen Optimist and Starling Auckland championships.

The event, hosted by Royal Akarana Yacht Club, doubled as a dress rehearsal for the Starling nationals last weekend and saw several coaches - including double Olympic medallist Jo Aleh - share some advice and insights.

Barker beat teammate Callum Hyde by 22 points, while Hutton finished four points ahead of Charlotte Handley and eighth overall in the 70-boat fleet.

Another MBSC sailor Mia Meikle claimed the overall win in the Optimist white fleet, with RAYC's George Zhou first male.

Tom Pilkington (RNZYS) was the runaway winner in the Starling fleet, with Leo Brown and Louis Quere (both RAYC) second and third, respectively.

Alexis Heckler (Kohimarama Yacht Club) was even more convincing in the female division, finishing 34 points ahead of Jess Handley, and 46 in front of Bella Jenkins. 

Full results and standings here.  

Call for entries for WOWW 2024

Entries are open for the 2024 Women on Water Weekend (WOWW) and it promises to be another enjoyable few days.

Organised by Gulf Harbour Yacht Club in association with the Auckland Yacht and Boating Association, the regatta is set for March 15-17 and provides an opportunity for women from every level of sailing.

For programme details click here, and click here to enter.

Read about 'sailing mum' Danica Withey's experience of last year's WOWW here.


Joyce Talbot. Photo / Supplied

'Humbled, surprised': Joyce Talbot honoured

Joyce Talbot has been appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in recognition of her services to sailing administration, in the King’s New Year Honours 2024. 

Talbot, who has spent more than 30 years in yachting administration, with the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand, the New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club, Coastal Classic and the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta, said she was “very surprised, and very humbled” to receive the honour.  

Talbot said she saw the MNZM as a recognition of the work of the whole Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand with the supporting trusts and individual vessel owners.  

Chairman of the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand Richard Cave said he was delighted with the news.

"She is respected in so many areas of yachting and for her commitment to the association’s annual regatta on the Waitematā Harbour."


Bella Jenkins made history by winning the girls' title for the third time. Photo / Gary Smith

History for Jenkins, Stone defends title

Bella Jenkins made history early last month by winning the girls' title at the 100th Tauranga Cup for the third time, while Oli Stone defended his crown by claiming overall honours in the Coombes Johnston BMW NZ P Class national championship at Tauranga Yacht and Powerboat Club

Nathan Soper earlier took out the Tanner Cup - beating Stone by five points.

Results and standings here and here.


The Hartley 16 fleet has been building back since Covid-19. Photo / Supplied

Solid fleet expected at Hartley 16 nationals

The 56th Hartley 16 national championships will be hosted by the Waiuku Yacht Club this weekend.

As with some other classes, it has been a slight struggle to get the numbers travelling again after Covid-19 but this is expected to be the biggest fleet for a few years with seven boats from New Plymouth heading up to the regatta.

The Waiuku fleet has continued to grow over the last couple of years under the guidance of Alan Dawson.


Conditions proved to be a challenge for the 23 boats. Photo / Supplied

Tough conditions for Waikawa NY Regatta

The annual Waikawa Boating Club New Year regatta took place in Queen Charlotte Sound from January 12-14 and with north-westerlies of around 20 knots and over for all three days, racing was always going to be a challenge for the approximately 120 crew aboard 23 boats.

The fleet included sailors from Christchurch, Wellington and Australia.

Matt Kerr and crew aboard Satellite Spy won line honours in division 1, with Clive Ballett (Coup D'Etat II) and Tom Hutchison (Indelible) doing the same in divisions 2 and 3.

Marty Harris (Last Sirrah) and Adrienne Crossen (Sequin) were crowned winners on handicap in divisions 1 and 2, with Hutchison doing the double in division 3.

Results and standings here and here.