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Sir Peter Blake Regatta this Weekend!

Dec 01 2015 02:43 PM | island time in Articles

The Legacy of Red Socks Lives on for young sailors

at the 2015 Sir Peter Blake Torbay Regatta

In 1995 Kiwis embraced Sir Peter Blake’s "lucky red socks” as a symbol of support for Kiwi yachties taking on the world.

20 years on and the young sailors competing in New Zealand’s largest youth sailing regatta were not even born during the time of the “lucky red socks”.

The 2015 Sir Peter Blake Torbay Regatta sponsored by Volvo Cars is being held on 5 and 6 December at Torbay Sailing Club on Auckland’s North Shore. This year’s 14th edition of the regatta will see over 400 young Kiwi sailors given a pair of red socks in remembrance of Sir Peter and as a reminder of the heritage of their sport.

2012 Olympic Sailing Gold Medalist Jo Aleh came from a non-sailing family but was inspired to take up the sport after watching Sir Peter Blake and his lucky red socks on television back in 1995. That inspiration led to multiple world championship wins for Jo and her sailing partner Polly Powrie, the Olympic Gold at London 2012 and World Sailor of the Year Award in 2013 – following in Sir Peter’s red sock clad footsteps as he received the same award in 1994!

On her way to this success Jo was awarded the Sir Peter Blake Trophy as the top youth sailor at the Sir Peter Blake Torbay Regatta in 2004. Jo will return to Torbay to present the regatta prizes to the over 20 sailing classes competing at this year’s regatta and will be wearing her lucky red socks!
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“Sir Peter Blake was a hero to me when I decided to take up the sport of sailing and I remember his red socks well. To me they symbolise teamwork, never giving up, and staying humble – attributes Polly and I still try to keep at the core of our sailing campaign” she said.

For further information on the regatta contact:

Mark Orams, Torbay Sailing Club Vice-Patron and Regatta Media Liaison: 021 873 664

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Rescue off the Wairarapa Coast

Dec 01 2015 02:28 PM | island time in Articles

70-year-old solo sailor rescued after head injury
1 December 2015

A 70-year-old solo sailor has been rescued from his 10m yacht 20 km off the Wairarapa coast after being struck on the head by the vessel’s boom.

The man, sailing from Auckland to Picton, made a mayday call shortly before 11am, and the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ managed the rescue operation. The fishing vessel Otakou responded immediately and with its rescue boat brought the sailor on board.

The Westpac Rescue helicopter from Wellington flew to the scene and lowered a paramedic and a Maritime Police officer with sailing experience on to the fishing vessel.

The injured man was winched to safety at around 1pm and flown to Wellington Hospital.

With help from the Otakou
crew, the Maritime Police officer boarded the yacht Solaise and is sailing her to rendezvous later this afternoon with the Police launch Lady Elizabeth IV, which will tow the vessel to Wellington.

RCCNZ search and rescue mission coordinator Chris Wilson said the injured man was well prepared for the voyage.

“He contacted us before leaving Auckland to advise of the trip and was making regular reports to Maritime Radio to update his position,” she said. “He’s done all the right things and that’s been very helpful in getting assistance to him.

“The prompt actions of the Otakou crew in retrieving the man from his yacht and communicating with the helicopter made the winch operation safer.

“The helicopter crew have done a great job in getting people on board and having a Maritime Police staff member with sailing experience available to be part of the operation means the man will also have his yacht waiting for him when he recovers.”

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Gunboat Files Chapter 11- Bankruptcy protection

Nov 19 2015 01:56 PM | island time in Articles

Gunboat have today filed Chapter 11. :-( Apparently following 2 years of "difficult circumstances" including breach of contract with their Chinese builders of the 66, and trying to enforce what the Chinese company was supposed to do. I wish Peter well, and hope the company comes thru this. they have made some great and innovative designs.

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MARWIN RACING TEAM - want to try a foiling cat?

Nov 16 2015 08:32 AM | island time in Articles

The MARWIN GC32 comes sailing down under
Keri Keri, New Zealand - November 13 2015 MARWIN RACING TEAM are bringing their GC32 foiling catamaran to sail in Bay of Islands and Auckland, New Zealand from December 2015 until March 2016. This new dynamic MARWIN RACING TEAM is an exciting collaboration between the four times Swiss Star Class Olympian and local New Zealand multiclass sailor and two time Olympian Sharon Ferris-Choat.

The GC32 ranks as the most exciting one design, America's Cup style, foiling catamaran on the market - attracting worldwide media attention. Shipped directly from the inaugural GC32 European Racing Tour, the boat is ready for an action packed summer in New Zealand with race training, youth crew development and regattas.

Co-helm and Team Manager Sharon Ferris-Choat announced that team and crew trials will start in January for crew positions in the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour, the MARWIN Youth America's Cup Academy and the Women’s Speed Challenge. “This is an amazing opportunity for local sailors to break into a European tour, on a world-class boat and as part of a professional team that successfully competed in the 2015 GC32 tour” said Sharon.
Racing in the GC32 tour round in Marseille, France, the boat reached a top speed of 37.1 knots (68 km/ph) and the team hope to bring this spectacle of speed to New Zealand waters racing in the Bay of Islands Race week and other regattas. The foiling catamaran is currently on a ship to New Zealand and is due by Christmas, giving the team time for selection trials, training and local racing through to March before the boat heads back to Europe.
Contact information: Sharon Ferris-Choat, MARWIN RACING TEAM, Team Manager.
Ph: +64 (0) 274 318 159 Email: sharon@marwin.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/GC32
Website: www.marwin.com
Photo supplied: SANDER VAN DER BORCH Marseille

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MARWIN RACING TEAM is looking for the best of the best. Situations vacant are a Business Manager, Marketing Manager, Boat Captains, GC32 sailors Youth, Women and Men’s.
Team and crew trials will start in January for crew positions in the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour, the MARWIN Youth America's Cup Academy and the Women’s Speed Challenge.
We are seeking sailors who are over 18. You must be extremely fit and have the desire and determination to win and be able to travel overseas in 2016.
Please contact Sharon with your sailing C.V. and a covering letter answering the following:
  • What does winning look like for you?
  • Rowing personal best time for 2000m
  • Your height and weight
  • Your strengths and weakness within a team
  • Your ultimate goal
  • Your availability and responsibilities in 2016+
Sharon Ferris-Choat
Team Manager


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2015 New Zealand Match Racing Champs Decided

Nov 16 2015 08:18 AM | island time in Articles

CHRIS STEELE crowned 2015 New Zealand Match Racing Champion!

Steele and his 36 Below Racing/RNZYS crew of Shane Diviney, Josh Salthouse & Harry Hull, beat George Anyon 3 - nil in the final series this afternoon.

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Steele lead undefeated on day one and then after a disappointing days two he qualified in 4th spot going into this mornings semi finals. Steele reflecting on what a difference a day can make, “last night we just talked about focusing more on our own race. Bringing it back to basics and keeping the same tempo the whole way through”. This is in contrast to last year where Steele didn’t lose a race until the final series allowing Josh Junior to take the title. The 22 year old, is currently the highest ranking New Zealander on the ISAF World Rankings. He described the feeling of winning as “yeah good!” - this being his first National Title.
Second place George Anyon, representing the RNZYS Youth Training Programme (YTP), said “I’m really happy with how we went”. Anyon is the highest scoring YTP member since Benny Butcher achieved 3rd place in 2011. Butcher was onboard this week as part of David Hazard’s crew.
Anyon is part of a squad of YTP sailors who head to Sydney on Wednesday to compete in two Youth International Match Racing Regattas under the guidance of Coaches Guy Pilkington and Chris Steele.
The final day started with the semi-finals, Chris Steele beat Dave Hazard’s RNZYS/KZ Marine team 3-1. As the highest qualifier from the round robins, George Anyon choose to sail against the Numean team skippered by Tugdual Piriou. It was an extremely close series with Piriou winning the first and third races, Anyon the second, fourth and fifth to win his spot in the finals against Steele.
In the petite final for fourth and fifth place, Hazard showed his home-ground advantage, beating the tide to finish 2-0 against Piriou.
The final saw Steele and Anyon in the starting box. After close legs and a few penalties to Anyon, Steele stayed in a firm lead, taking the title in three straight wins.
Commodore Andy Anderson thanked all the wonderful Race Management and Umpires teams led by Megan Kensington and Colette Kraus, at the prize giving held at the RNZYS.
We look forward to seeing these teams back next year as well as many new faces:

Final Placings
ISAF Number

1. Chris Steele - RNZYS


2. George Anyon - RNZYS YTP


3. Dave Hazard - RNZYS


4. Tugdual Piriou - CNC


5. Thomas Saunders - TYPBC


6. Lucas Chatonnier - RNZYS YTP


7. Alan Quere - CNC


8. Stephanie Kirkman - RNZYS YTP


-Full results, scores and entrant information available at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Facebook, Twitter and Website (rnzys.org.nz).

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Burling and Tuke Sailors or the Year

Nov 11 2015 09:01 AM | island time in Articles

ISAF World Sailor of the Year for 2015 Honours
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Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are on top of the sailing world after being announced ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year for 2015 at a dinner ceremony in Sanya, China overnight, after a remarkable year of sailing achievements.
The NZL Sailing Team pair was unable to attend the announcement at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year dinner presentation held in Sanya, China as they are in Argentina for the final build up to the 2015 49er World Championships.
“Blair Tuke said: “It is a really big honour for us to win this award. We don’t sail and race to win these awards, but it is really nice to get these accolades for all the hard work we put in. We are really proud to have won.”
“All the nominees have achieved some awesome things this year in our sport, especially Ian Walker for winning the Volvo Ocean Race. We’ve been working hard all year and the results have come our way, not only in the 49er, but also in the other boats we sail. So we are looking ahead, keeping the hammer down towards the Olympics and then to bringing the Cup back to New Zealand.”
The only other New Zealanders to win the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year are Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie in 2013 (New Zealand’s first ever winners in the Female category), Sir Russell Coutts who has won ISAF Male Sailor of the Year twice, in 1995 and 2003, Mike Sanderson in 2006 and Sir Peter Blake in 1994.
Burling (24 years old) and Tuke (26 years old) have totally dominated the Olympic 49er class over the past twelve months, and indeed the past three years, with an unprecedented string of consecutive victories.
Their most recent gold medal was at the 2015 South American Championships just this week in Argentina. In August Burling and Tuke won gold at 2015 Aquece Rio Regatta (2015 Rio Test Event) - significantly this victory was on the Olympic Games race track and they remain the crew to beat with less than a year to go until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
During the Awards period, both sailors have also been promoted into key roles with New Zealand’s America’s Cup Challenger Emirates Team New Zealand. With Burling and Tuke on board, (Burling at the helm) Emirates Team New Zealand has secured podium finishes at this year’s America’s Cup World Series regattas in Portsmouth (2nd), Bermuda (1st) and Gothenburg (2nd) to lead the series.
At the 2015 Moth World Championships Peter Burling took victory, and Blair Tuke was 6th overall (and best placed rookie) in a large and talented fleet of sailors including Olympic medallists from a range of classes, plus three of the four helmsmen from the last America’s Cup and many previous Moth World Champions.
Also named as finalists for world sailing’s top honour in 2014, Burling and Tuke were pipped for the title last year by Australian Jimmy Spithill for his America’s Cup achievements.
This year the New Zealanders were up against Frenchman Loick Peyron (offshore multihull racer) and three Brits including Giles Scott (Finn campaigner and member of Ben Ainslie Racing Team), Ian Walker (Skipper of Abu Dhabi, Volvo Ocean Race winner) and Ian Williams (Match Racing).
Great Britain’s Sarah Ayton was awarded ISAF World Female Sailor of the Year for 2015.
The ISAF World Sailor Awards were launched in 1994, and just four other New Zealanders feature in the previous winners list. They include Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie in 2013 (New Zealand’s first ever winners in the Female category), Sir Russell Coutts who has won ISAF Male Sailor of the Year twice, in 1995 and 2003, Mike Sanderson in 2006 and Sir Peter Blake in 1994.
Burling and Tuke’s track record Since September 2014
  • 1st – 2015 South American Championships
  • 1st - 2015 Rio Olympic Test Event
  • 1st - 2015 49er Rio International Sailing Week
  • 1st - 2015 49er European Championships
  • 1st - 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth
  • 1st - 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres
  • 1st - 2015 Princesa Sofia Regatta (Palma)
  • 1st - 2015 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland
  • 1st - 2015 New Zealand 49er National Championships
  • 1st - 2014 49er Intergalactics – Rio
Additionally, with Emirates Team New Zealand
  • 1st – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Gothenburg, August 2015
  • 2nd – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth, July 2015
Prior to September 2014
  • 1st - 2014 49er South American Championships
  • 1st - 2014 49er World Championships, Santander
  • 1st - 2014 Aquece Rio Test Event
  • 1st - 2014 49er European Championships
  • 1st - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres
  • 1st - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma
  • 1st - 2014 New Zealand 49er National Championships
  • 1st - 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland
  • 1st - 2013 49er World Championships
  • 1st - 2013 49er European Championships
  • 1st - 2013 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland
The winners are selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs), the national governing bodies for sailing around the world, by a process of voting prior to the event and on the night of the Awards. The MNAs are invited to vote for the male and female nominee they believe most deserves the Award. This vote will contribute to 50% of the overall result, while the remaining 50% of the vote will be decided by those in attendance on the night in Sanya.
Each winner is presented with the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Trophy and a distinctive Rolex timepiece.

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Shipwreck Party

Nov 11 2015 08:56 AM | island time in Articles

Fundraising for James and Somira Burwick who were dismasted in Anasasi Girl and are stranded in Chille at the moment.
All funds raised go towards a new rig for them.
It will be a huge and fun night with heaps of cool things planned...

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New Search and Rescue Sats and receivers

Oct 29 2015 03:43 PM | island time in Articles

New search and rescue satellite receiving site ready for testing
29 October 2015: 12.00PM Six satellite dishes in place near Rotorua
Construction has been completed on a new search and rescue satellite receiving station between Taupo and Rotorua, built as part of a joint project by Maritime NZ and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

The site, together with a similar receiving station in Western Australia, has been constructed ahead of the introduction of a new generation of medium-Earth orbit search and rescue (MEOSAR) satellites.

MEOSAR satellites (orbiting at around 20,000 km above the Earth) are replacing the current low-Earth orbit (LEOSAR) satellites (orbiting at between 800-1000 km), which are being phased out over the next four years.

The MEOSAR system will begin operation in 2017, and will significantly boost search and rescue (SAR) capability in the NZ and Australian SAR regions, which together stretch north to the Equator and south to the South Pole, east to half way across the Pacific, and west half way across the Indian Ocean.

US company McMurdo is carrying out the work in New Zealand and Australia. The New Zealand contract, managed by Maritime NZ, is made up of $7.2m for construction of the receiving station and $5.5m in operating costs over the next 11 years.

The two sites will undergo rigorous testing before the MEOSAR system is officially brought online in late 2017 by COSPAS SARSAT, the international coordinating body for global search and rescue.

The six satellite dishes at the new site are covered by domes to protect them from the elements and are designed to be as visually unobtrusive as possible. The receiving station is expected to be officially commissioned towards the end of 2016.

There are currently 18 MEOSAR satellites operating, compared with five LEOSAR satellites. This means beacon signals will be received more quickly and beacon locations identified with greater accuracy. This will further improve over the next five years as the number of MEOSAR satellites is expected to increase to more than 50, ensuring several satellites will be in view at all times from anywhere on Earth.

Once operational, signals received by the new site will be sent to a new mission control centre in Canberra, which will pass them to the appropriate rescue coordination centre. If a beacon is activated in the NZ SAR region, these alerts will go to the RCCNZ in Avalon, in the Hutt Valley, Wellington.

The coverage from the sites in New Zealand and Australia will provide overlapping coverage of both search and rescue regions.

“This is a truly a joint system for New Zealand and Australia - and a key part of the global COSPAS SARSAT system,” Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch said.

“Our two countries are responsible for a huge section of the earth when it comes to search and rescue, and without our joint contribution there would be a significant gap in the network. Beacons can take the ‘search’ out of search and rescue, and the MEOSAR system will dramatically increase the global SAR capability.

“Emergency distress beacons are key equipment for anyone operating at sea, on land and in the air - whether commercially or recreationally - but they can’t operate without sites like this.”

Existing beacons, of which there are 54,000 registered in New Zealand, will not be affected by the change in satellites.

The RCCNZ, part of Maritime NZ, responds to around 550 beacon alerts each year.

The global search and rescue satellite system is managed by the International Cospas-Sarsat organisation.

A consortium of Russia, the United States, Canada and France formed the organisation in 1982. Since then 41 participants - including New Zealand - have joined to provide satellite tracking equipment, with 40,000 people rescued to date.

Cospas-Sarsat sets standards for beacons, satellite equipment, and ground stations enabling a truly global approach to search and rescue.

The current global search and rescue satellite system makes use of two types of satellite - LEOSAR satellites and geostationary, or GEO, satellites, that are stationary above the equator. Because of New Zealand’s distance from the equator, the GEO satellites are low on the horizon, which can limit their line-of-sight visibility, particularly in mountainous terrain. That makes LEO satellites important, but these are limited in number and not always over New Zealand, meaning there can be delays between a beacon activation and its detection by a LEO satellite.

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Free Waterproof Cellphone Bags

Oct 18 2015 05:58 PM | island time in Articles

Posted ImageMedia release - 8 October 2015 Posted Image

The Safer Boating Forum is giving away 10,000 waterproof cellphone bags to boaties this summer, starting from Safer Boating Week, 16-23 October.
10,000 waterproof cellphone bags – free to boaties!

“It won’t work wet” is the message behind 10,000 waterproof cellphone bags being given out to boaties this summer.
The Safer Boating Forum* will start giving away free waterproof cellphone bags to boaties during Safer Boating Week, October 16-23, and it will continue over summer. Each bag will also include a new safer boating mini-guide.
“Take two ways to call for help, is one of our key messages to people going out on the water,” Maritime New Zealand Education and Communications Manager, Pania Shingleton said.
“We know that more and more recreational boaties take cellphones with them. If you are going to have a cellphone as one of your two ways of calling for help, then it has to be kept safe and waterproof,” Ms Shingleton said.
Coastguard Boating Education will be distributing the bags and mini-guides to people completing boat safety courses, and other members of the Forum will be distributing bags at boat ramps and water safety events.
Other communication options boaties can use to call for help include distress beacons (PLBs, personal locator beacons), VHF radio (channel 16), and flares.
The second annual Safer Boating Week is the week before Labour Day weekend, the traditional start of the recreational boating season. The aim is to encourage boaties to take simple steps before getting boats on the water.
“Finding out on the water that there is something wrong with your boat or equipment, or that you do not know important safety rules, is too late and is dangerous,” Ms Shingleton said. “Last year 27 people died in recreational boating accidents, and another 16 have died this year. Prep, check, know before you take your boat out.”
  • Prep your boat – service the engine, check and change the fuel, check the battery and just generally give the boat a good onceover.
  • Check your gear – make sure your lifejackets are still fit for purpose and you have enough. Service any inflatable lifejackets and ensure you have two reliable forms of communication equipment.
  • Know the rules – ensure you know the “rules of the road” on the water, and check your local bylaws to make sure you understand what the requirements are in your area.
Safer Boating Week will include a series of fun and serious events including a wharf jump, a helicopter rescue exercise, TV and radio advertising, competitions, a media visit to the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand, boat ramp visits and much more.
For lots more information about safer boating visit:*The Safer Boating Forum was established in 2000 to coordinate and implement recreational boating safety initiatives. It is made up of government agencies and local government, water safety and recreational boating organisations, and the marine industry. The Forum's work is aimed at reducing boating injuries and fatalities and improving boat safety behaviour. Maritime NZ chairs the Forum and members include Coastguard, Jet Boating NZ, Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers, local and central government, NZ Fishing News, NZ Jet Sports Boating Association, NZ Marine Industry Association, NZ Underwater Association, Surf Lifesaving NZ, Waka Ama NZ, Water Safety NZ, WaterSafe Auckland, White Water NZ, and Yachting NZ.

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Kiwi sailor to take on Mini Transat

Sep 24 2015 09:25 AM | island time in Articles

Kiwi sailor to take on Mini Transat

As the 2015 Mini Transat fleet depart France at the start of this year’s race, Kiwi sailor Cory McLennan has officially announced his intention to represent New Zealand in the 2019 Mini Transat. McLennan made the announcement at the official launch ceremony of his yacht B&G Racing on Friday 11 September, at Westhaven Marina in Auckland.

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21-year old McLennan hosted friends, family, sponsors and media at the launch ceremony, where he thanked them for their generous support. McLennan said: “After a two month refit, I am proud to launch B&G Racing, and incredibly grateful to all my sponsors and supporters.”

McLennan made headlines in 2014 when he became the youngest person ever to compete in – and complete – the solo trans Tasman yacht race. The race, which took McLennan 16 days after his boat’s autopilot failed, showed a level of drive and commitment that belies his years.

McLennan commented: “The launch of B&G Racing marks the start of the next phase of my solo sailing career. The 2014 Solo Trans-Tasman Challenge was a great starting point, but now I want to go bigger… Bigger and smaller! The Mini 6.50 yacht is an affordable way to achieve my dreams of representing NZ in the world of solo offshore sailing.”

The Mini 6.50 is a racing class yacht designed specifically to take on the Mini Transat race. This solo trans-Atlantic race sees hundreds of competitors from around the world sail unassisted for over 4,000 miles, with only one stop along the way.

McLennan says he was inspired to follow his dreams of representing New Zealand it the world of solo offshore sailing by his hero, Sir Peter Blake. Born and raised in Greymouth on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, McLennan had to overcome many obstacles to get where he is today.

“Where I grew up, farming was really the only career option, but I wanted to show the world that West Coasters can do anything.” McLennan said.

McLennan plans to cover as many miles in training as he can over the next four years, in the build-up to the 2019 Mini Transat. McLennan said: “I’ll start with local races and the PIC Coastal Classic, then in 2017 I want to take on the Round North Island two-handed race. Following that, another crack at the 2018 Solo Trans-Tasman, before making the trip to France.”

McLennan is actively seeking sponsorship for his 2019 Mini Transat campaign. For further information, contact Cory McLennan on 022 624 3410 or corymclennan@yahoo.co.nz, or follow Cory on his Facebook page.

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