Sir Peter Blake Torbay Regatta
Next weekend will see Torbay Sailing Club come alive, with over 400 sailors expected at this year’s Tenth Anniversary Sir Peter Blake Regatta. The regatta can be regarded as New Zealand’s premiere centreboard yachting event, held annually at Waiake Beach, Torbay. Run over the first weekend in December, the regatta is close to the anniversary of Sir Peter Blake’s death, with this year’s dates being 3rd / 4th December. As the largest two day Centreboard class sailing regatta in the Southern Hemisphere the regatta attracts top competitors from all over New Zealand, as well as a number of overseas entrants.
The event promotes the values and characteristics of Sir Peter Blake; enjoyment of the sport of sailing, team-mateship and care for the environment. While the regatta maintains a youth focus, it caters for all ages and abilities, attracting a good mix of adult sailors. The 2010 event saw around 430 sailors competing in 17 different classes for two days of intense racing. This year being the 10th anniversary regatta will likely draw greater numbers, easily making it one of the largest centreboard sailing events in the world.
The regatta has magnificent support from long term principal sponsors Toyota New Zealand, Albany Toyota and Air New Zealand Holidays. Last year saw Dean Barker presenting the prizes to the delight of the sailors and many parents. Dean is to make a return this year to speak at the Opening Ceremony, along with long time Sailing journalist Martin Tasker. Representatives of the Sir Peter Blake Trust will be presenting the winners with a particularly rich pool of prizes this year. Along with the keenly sought-after Sir Peter Blake Memorial Trophy – awarded to the event’s most outstanding sailor – other superb prizes are offered from Air New Zealand Holidays, Zhik, Harken, Sail NZ and Vodafone.
The event is organised and hosted by Torbay Sailing Club, but significant support and input also comes from Yachting NZ, Murrays Bay SC, Wakatere SC, Takapuna BC and a wide range of volunteers. In its ten years the regatta has grown in size, standing and professionalism, creating a world class event on the beaches of Auckland’s North Shore. The vision is simple: to deliver an event that is not only the focal point of centreboard sailing in the Southern Hemisphere but also a fantastic social event and a celebration of Sir Peter’s life and the sailing legacy we enjoy today. Basing its principles on those of Sir Peter, the Torbay Club encourages sailors to develop a lifetime respect and value for the sea, as well as a love of sailing through competition and friendship.