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Encouraging outlook for O’pen BIC class and junior sailing in NZ

by Craig Fahey on 20 May 2017
Russell Coutts will hold a coaching clinic on July 6 before O'pen BIC Regatta starts on July 7. O'pen BIC New Zealand
The New Zealand O’pen BIC class association has today launched a new website and online events calendar to support the significant momentum that this exciting new junior class is gaining.

The class is going from strength to strength in New Zealand and expecting a fleet of about 75 boats for the next event in July. The class gained official class status in NZ earlier this year and the 2017/18 season calendar already boasts 14 nationwide events.

The regatta to be staged at Manly Sailing Club in early July will feature a coaching session conducted by Russell Coutts and also a speed trial in foiling O'pen BICs.

The new website features online event registration, boat charter for O’pen BIC regattas and coaching events. The sleek, fast, one design nature of the boats and charter fleet that has generously been made available by BIC Sport NZ, brings a breath of fresh air to junior sailing for kids and parents alike. The regattas are designed with fun being the primary goal and the availability of inexpensive charter boats removes the barrier of having to transport boats around the country.


New Zealand O’pen BIC Association representative Barry McKay, says the class is giving kids a renewed interest in the sport of sailing. The class has experienced massive growth this past year and numbers are climbing.

“We’re taking a fresh look at junior sailing with the overarching focus being on fun, the measure of success being the retention of young sailors in the sport and smiles on faces. The O’pen BIC is proving to be the ideal vehicle to achieve this” he says.


“We now anticipate regularly having 60+ entrants at these regattas and we are just getting started,” McKay adds.
Kiwi yachting legend and CEO of the 2017 America’s Cup Sir Russell Coutts says he’s hugely supportive of the O’pen BIC Class and the movement toward bringing the fun back into youth sailing in NZ.

”The O’pen BIC is a fantastic boat for young sailors to experience the joy of sailing. it is fast, exciting and fun to sail, yet simple to rig and maintain many of the skills learnt in the Bic will be easily transferred to other boats as sailors evolve and progress onto other forms of sailing,“ Coutts said

Visit www.openbic.org.nz to learn about the class and find out how to get involved.

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