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September 2022

Oceanbridge Regatta to proceed but early entry is required this week

by Michael Brown Yachting NZ 24 Jan 15:21 PST 25 January 2022
Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta - Wakatere BC April 11, © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com / nz

Yachting New Zealand are still looking to host next month's Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta and believe they can do it safely under the red setting of the Covid Protection Framework.

The regatta, which is this country's premier Olympic and youth classes event, is due to be held at the Wakatere Boating Club on February 17-20. It will also double as the youth trials for this year's NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Team and it's hoped the team will be able to compete at the 2022 youth sailing world championships at The Hague.

New Zealand's move to the red setting has created a number of challenges for organisers of the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta and Yachting New Zealand ask for assistance to try to help alleviate those.

A number of scenarios are being explored but a lot of these depend on the potential number of participants, so Yachting New Zealand have asked competitors to enter this week.

The close-off date for entries has been brought forward to February 1 and no late entries will be accepted. Participants will receive a full refund if the event is cancelled.

"We really need to know who intends competing at the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing so we can plan accordingly," Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie said. "We really want this to happen and need your help to get it off the ground."

Yachting New Zealand staff will fulfil many of the roles on and off the water during the regatta but volunteers will also be essential. The number of those willing to help will need to be larger than normal, with a backup crew on standby should others become unavailable.

Spectators are also discouraged so volunteering could be a good way to keep up to speed with the racing.

"Safety will be our No 1 priority and we will cancel the event if necessary," Abercrombie said. "But we believe we can run the event safely and think it's important that our sailors continue to compete, especially as they've faced so many disruptions over the last couple of years."

You can find more information about the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta here, www.yachtingnz.org.nz/nzl-sailing/oceanbridge-nzl-sailing-regatta including the notice of race, entry form and volunteer registrations.

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