The amazing weather over the last few weeks has made it hard not to think of the Christmas holidays.
Many of you will be planning to take to the water over the holiday period and there are a handful of things you can do to enhance your enjoyment and safety.
Many of these are very simple, like wearing a hat and sunscreen, but others require a bit of time like servicing your motor or collecting necessary spare parts, so it’s an opportune time to get organised.
You probably have your own checklist but here are a few things to consider:
- If you are sailing or boating on your own, tether yourself and wear a lifejacket at all times, especially if in boats under 6m.
- Don’t drink and boat
- Always have two forms of communication that are charged and operational
- Check the weather and tides regularly
- Make sure you service your craft, whether it’s a yacht or powerboat
- Make sure you’re prepared for the unexpected
- Carry spare parts, like impellors for outboards, sail patches and crucial engine parts
- If you’re a powerboat owner, make sure you have an up-to-date warrant of fitness on your trailer and the correct tyre pressure
- Take care crossing bars - if unsure, check with the harbour master
- Contact the harbour master and let them know your departure and expected return times
- Listen to frequent forecast updates
- Carry extra supplies in case you need to spend an extra night away
- Plan your route
- Let someone know where you are going
For a full list, check the Maritime New Zealand website.
It's certainly been a memorable year and it was great to see both Blair Tuke and Josh Junior recognised recently for their part in helping Emirates Team New Zealand win the America's Cup.
Blair won the Supreme Award at the Northland Sports Awards and Josh won sportsman of the year at the Wellys (Wellingtonian of the Year)
Their successes come on the back of the top awards picked up by Peter Burling (Bay of Plenty) and Andy Maloney (North Harbour) at their respective regional awards. All four are part of our Olympic programme and it's been great to see the impact they have all had on other areas of sailing.
This year will go down as one to remember and there's plenty to look forward to in 2018, kicking off with the Millennium Cup and Bay Week and Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta and followed by the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Auckland, when it will be great to see the Volvo Sailing... Have a Go! Omegas flying around the Viaduct harbour. We would love to see you come down, meet the team and have a go.
Just finally, I would like to congratulate the Torbay Sailing Club for delivering an amazing Sir Peter Blake Regatta last weekend, when a record 492 sailors competed - it's believed to be the biggest multi-class centreboard regatta in the world. I would also like to wish Ian Neely, Matt Thomas and NZL Sailing Foundation youth team well at the youth sailing world championships in China, Sanya.
A final thank you to all our sponsors and partners for your ongoing support. Your impact on our sport is enormous, and loyalty very much appreciated.
Have a great Christmas, safe boating and I hope the fish are biting.