Sailability Racing Programme
We provide a pathway for sailors who have done well with our Learn To Sail Programme, and may now be keen to learn some racing skills. To join the racing squad is by invitation only, once the coaches feel it is safe for the sailor to do so, as it is more demanding than pleasure sailing.
Some go on to race at local and regional regattas. Those who want to progress further can apply to be classified as Para Sailors, allowing them to race at national and international regattas. Some of our sailors have brought home medals, including World Championships, and even have their sights on the Para Olympics. How's that for fostering Sailability!
Check out the pathway from race training to international racing:
Dennis and Christina honing their racing skills.
Weekend Race Training
For those ready to expand their skills and taste the thrill of sailing at top speed, they may be invited by the racing coaches to join the weekend race training sessions. This can also include sailing in the Tauranga Yacht Club's Centreboard Race Series to gain their first experience of competitive sailing.
Learning how to start a race entails a unique skillset to position your yacht at the right place at the right time to cross the start line. Jockeying for position is not only important at the start, but also around the buoys that mark the course.
After race training and local race experience, sailors may progress to participation in other club regattas around the region.
Sailability Tauranga's Christina (at the helm) and Elisha (behind the camera) aboard Roger Clark's 40' Beneteau Fickle Mistress participating in the Karewa Island Offshore Race held by the TYPBC and WOW.
Women on Water (WOW) is run by the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club and provides opportunities for women to learn to sail on large keelers.
A number of our Sailability women participate on a regular basis. For our women sailors with disability it also gives another experience of inclusion, where they are an active and valuable member of an all-female crew. After each race there is dinner at the Yacht Club with prizegiving and much fun to be had by all.
Regional and National Regattas
Many on our race team have competed at regional and national regattas as individuals and as a team, achieving impressive results including numerous championships.
It takes much organising and logistics to get our sailors and their boats to other locations in New Zealand. This couldn't be possible without the help of many volunteers and supporters who make themselves available to help when ever possible.
Members of our racing team have competed overseas, and more hope to. In 2019, Tom Scott competed in the Asia Pacific Games held in Samoa, had a fantastic experience and came home with an International Para Sailing Bronze Medal.
In 2022 Caleb Evans competed in Brisbane at the Virtus Oceania Asia Games, and came home with a gold medal as an International Para Sailing Champion!
We will be posting more about all our competitive sailors' achievements soon. Watch this space...
Sailing Innovation with Sound Buoys
Richard Chamberlain, Para Sailor Champion and Racing Squad member, has also created some special buoys for our sailors with impaired vision. They make a sound to help guide sailors with limited vision around the race course.
His successful design was first tested in our Learn to Sail Programme and has now been adopted for use in all Hansa Regattas in New Zealand.
Check out the videos above and below. (sound on)
My soul is full of longing for the secrets of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.