Waikawa Boating Club annual Women’s Regatta

16 September 2022

Women sailors called to join the evolution

Women sailors, experienced and novice, will be descending on Waikawa Boating Club for the annual Women’s Regatta in September this year. The notice of race has been posted as an open invitation to women around New Zealand and Australia to come to Marlborough for the three-day regatta and event over the weekend of 16-18 September 2022.

Past years have drawn Olympians and global circumnavigators to join newcomers to sailing and those who have never raced before. The weekend of yacht racing is a wonderful reason for over a hundred women to get together for a bit of fun and personal challenge.

Accommodation in Waikawa and Picton is already being booked up by crews planning to be racing in 2022. Event organiser, Julia Thomson, has been managing some social media engagement and has noticed a lot of excitement for the event from around the country. “There are at least 60 Auckland based women planning to be here”, says Thomson.

While anyone can bring their own boat to the regatta, the yachts are mostly provided by members of the Waikawa Boating Club. Some long-time racers in the event have a permanent booking on a particular boat and the owners keep that in their calendar for them. The owner of the yacht named Midnight, Chris Webb says “Having sailed for decades, the most fun I have had is hosting the same crew in this regatta for three years running.  The teamwork, communication, sailing skill level and ability to have fun, being competitive without raising their voices, inspires me and as the boat owner, I learn a lot too!”

For some boats it’s been necessary for the owner to be on the boat due to insurance or technical matters and in some cases that owner is a male. Event organiser volunteer, Juliet Abbott says, “The rules of the event have in the past been 50% of the crew could be male with a female at the helm. In developing the event and making it more about women in sailing, this has been reduced to 30% rounded down in 2022 and the vision is that we will have 100% female crews in the near future. As soon as we can get enough sailors ready and boats that can accommodate a totally female crew, we’ll be there”.

Auckland based Evolution Sails is the major sponsor of the regatta in 2022, Thomson says, “Evolution Sails jumped at the chance to be the naming sponsor and we’re delighted to have them on board. We can see the women’s regatta evolving and even their name fits with that direction for the event.”

The program starts on the Friday afternoon with a cruise out to a bay in Queen Charlotte Sound for drinks and a BBQ and generally get to meet each other. Then racing starts on Saturday with two longer distance races up and down Queen Charlotte Sound. Sunday is two shorter races around the cans before everyone heads home. Saturday night is particularly popular with dinner and a guest speaker who will generally be an inspirational woman sailor.

Information on joining the event can be found on the Waikawa Boating Club website www.waikawaboatingclub.co.nz Thomson says, “Anyone is welcome to sign up for the event and as long as we have enough boats, we’ll get them a spot on a crew that suits their level of sailing experience”.

Photo Credit: Karmyn Ingram Photography.

Waikawa Boating Club

  • Street address: Waikawa Marina, Waikawa, Picton, 7220
  • Postal address: PO Box 52, Picton, 7250
  • Phone: 03 573 6798
  • Website: www.waikawaboatingclub.co.nz
This club offers:
Beverages Food