Small boats getting big
Two radio controlled sailing clubs - Watchman Island Yacht Club, and the Hibiscus Radio Sailing Club, run racing out of St Mary's Bay at Westhaven Marina, and they are gaining a strong and loyal following, not only from sailors, but from spectators too.
Hibiscus Radio Sailing Club races on Tuesdays and Saturdays from the new pontoon on the Z Pier side of St Mary's Bay, and has 15 members with boats. The friendly club is growing, and spokesperson Ian Winchester says that it's a great sport which requires a lot of thought, concentration and practice.
"Because there is a competitive edge it makes it very interesting and appeals to all sorts of sailors and age groups. We have members who have raced offshore in keel boats and most have been previously involved in dinghy sailing, although this is not a requirement. Several of the large offshore boat owners and crew partake in the sport," he says.
Events are held throughout New Zealand and Australia, and boats are prepared and tuned with as much rigor and attention to detail as their bigger counterparts.