At Nelson Yacht Club we have a programme of club racing that runs over the summer season from October to April inclusive. It is interspersed with a regattas, and special events. The way that racing is run is detailed in the club sailing instructions

Key Links:

The programme is divided into 5 main categories:

The Harbour Championships Series

This is the club’s headline series, with more ‘regatta-style’ racing. Sailors will head out to Tasman Bay for 3-4 races on properly aligned courses (windward/leeward, triangle, trapezoid etc…)

General Club Racing

The general club racing is split into a Spring Series, a Summer Series and Autumn Series. Sailors race in handicap divisions:

Division Handicap
Fleet Classes
1 >1.00 NP 1 29er, 49er, FD, A Class, PT
2 0.755 – 0.999 NP 2 Topaz, Laser, Europe, 3.7, 420
3 <0.755 NP 3 Optimist, Open Skiff, Starling
4 NP 4 Trailer Yacht, Sportsboat, Keelboat
Green Green

Special Events

Throughout the season there are a number of speciality/feature races. These include:

  • The Glasgow Picture – traditionally the first race of the season, a “Round the Island Race”
  • The Cardinal Mark Race (‘Mark Foy’ start) – This is a pursuit race around the Cardinal Mark out in the bay, where the slower sailors set off first and the faster sailors try to catch them up. First home wins!
  • The Top of the Harbour – on a big high tide, sailors will race up inside the Nelson Haven towards the iconic Boulderbank Baches.
  • The Oyster Island Race – a race around Oyster Island down by Monaco.
  • Motueka Sailing Day – NYC sailors head over to join the Motueka racing for the day.
  • Lake Rotoiti Road Trip – A weekend of informal racing on Lake Rotoiti

Local, Regional & National Regattas

These are multi-day sailing events. Nelson Yacht Club host’s its annual Whakatu Regatta over the middle weekend of January each year, and we take turns with Queen Charlotte Yacht Club to host the Nelson & Marlborough Regional Championships. We also host a number of different and national regattas from time to time.

The programme also sits within a wider scope of regional and national regattas held at other clubs around the country, that Nelson sailors in different classes travel to and compete in.

The Tuesday Twilight Series

Casual, fun, short-course racing on a Tuesday evening through the Spring. With a briefing at ~6pm, racing in front of the club. It is a great opportunity for people to have a go at racing for the first time, or to get back in a boat for the first time in years – with the club Topaz Unos and RS Feva available to rent.