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13 year old with Variant 22.5 foot

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Just bought our kids 13 (with a day skipper ticket and big boat experience) a Variant.

I'd like 13,10 boys to join a club and race saturday or sunday once they get the hang of it. Then longer races in time. We are only in Auckland on weekends.

Located Hobson Bay,Auckland IMG_20200713_090524_979.jpg.028cbe29e39949bde33f8988395b4c3b.jpg

Please advise clubs that would suit and how to get 'into it'

Thanks in advance

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I wouldn't through the bath water out just yet. There are pockets around with racing where the Variant would fit in just fine. I am up at Weiti, and that sort of boat is much more common up here

Are you saying they know how to sail but have never raced? If that’s the case, there is a benefit in dinghy sailing you won’t get in keelers. Basically, they are geared up for teaching.  Dinghy club

Sandspit YC is a bit further North, they have mixed  class / cruising, races and the bonus of Kawau bay area to practice in.

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Find a club that does cruising races .Good starting place to learn how start etc how the boat goes.Throwing money at new sails etc is fine until they suddenly go "Nah dont like racing" or get tangled up in the start area and abuse  is hurlded by some full on racer who doesnt apperciate the also rans.

Been in the also ran division most of the time.But without us theres generally not enough entries for a race.

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Hundreds of kids in Auckland do dinghy racing, so maybe that would be a better option?

Keelboat racing is mainly done by adults.  There were some Variants racing at Milford, and Panmure around 8 years ago, so maybe one of those clubs could be worth trying. Other than that looks like one Variant racing at Evans Bay in Wellington at the moment.



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So if they raced they would not be included and just be tagging along and not get any results.. ? forgive me I have 50k offshore miles but know nothing of sailing with a club or racing for fun.
Dinghies are no fun sailing to Barrier for a week...or spending the night at Waikheke - Dingy racing looks like its horribly wet and horribly cold .. not our thing in the least which is why we bought a mini keel boat.
Oh well maybe we will just give up on the possibility of racing then if it is pointless.. what a pity .. the child wants to be the youngest to sail around NZ and wants to race single handed keel boats .. its a shame that there is no take up for small keel boat racing :-( 

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I wouldn't through the bath water out just yet.

There are pockets around with racing where the Variant would fit in just fine. I am up at Weiti, and that sort of boat is much more common up here than at Westhaven, for example.

Look at the website http://www.weiti.co.nz/#portfolios and look at the type of boats racing. Note the picture of Raffertys Rules, a Ross 780 trailer yacht. Certainly there is not a whole fleet of variants, but they wouldn't be out of place. We have a winter series (combined with Gulf Harbour), I'm in gold division, which is the smaller and older boats. White division is the bigger boats with posher sails.

The Barfoot & Thompson 2 handed series is great, and there is a couple of solo races. The cruising races are popular, and a good place to start.

You and the boys would be more than welcome at Weiti. Strewth, we even let a C class cat race with us, so they don't feel left out. Been doing that for a number of years now. Don't forget these are all handicap races. Once you understand that, you understand that if you sail well you can get a trophy.

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Hi Sea Eagle - Adrian here from Lady Nada - Pity we're all not back at Vuluga like last year. 

Definitely check out Milford Cruising Club. As the fleet is limited in size to what can get in/out of the tidal Milford Marina entrance, the fleet is generally 20-25ft keelers. They also have a big fleet (about 20) of Pied Pipers (a 22ft Townson design)  which are mainly owned by 15-25 year olds. The marina is super cheap but is tidal limited and most keelers can get in/out 2 hours either side of high tide. They have a club haul out and will be a great place for the boys to learn about boat ownership. 

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 Go on line and have a look at Devonport Yacht Club, handy to Hobson Bay, They do cruising races to nearby destination Waiheke Island, Rakino and further etc. for a beach BBQ and over night stay, over the summer months, also some longer races. They have several under 30ft boat sailing in the cruising series. Go visit the club for dinner on a Friday night introduce your self to the duty officer and have a chat to see if sailing with them fits your requirements.

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Or get them signed up as crew on a racing machine. They will be well sought after if they are committed and will learn a lot. Get to do some cool races on hot machines that other people pay for and learn what makes a boat fast, about category safety gear, heavy weather etc. They will learn so much from a regular race crew over a season.

Then the Variant becomes their adventure vehicle.

The Variant will always be slow no matter how well sailed compared to the 30-35ft cruiser racers in most club fleets, and it does suck constantly being a back marker in the fleet.

By crewing on a regular racer they can get the best of both worlds.






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