It’s been slow coming, but winter seems to have finally arrived. In the South Island, ski fields opened after heavy snowfalls, and in the North Island we’ve had weeks of wet, stormy weather.

For a boating magazine, prolonged bouts of bad weather pose challenges when it comes to featuring new vessels. Boatbuilders, importers and owners want to present their craft in the best possible light, so it’s not surprising they show little enthusiasm for on-water boat reviews when it’s blowing a gale and/or bucketing down with rain. Safety has to be considered as well.

And from the magazine’s perspective, it’s very difficult to present a story in a visually appealing way when the boat and everything surrounding it is grey. Wind and rain make photography (and drone flying) virtually impossible, so Boating NZ relies on decent weather to bring on-water reviews of new boats to our readers. A bit of sunshine goes a long way!

July’s edition has been more challenging than most in this respect. Relentless wind and rain caused the cancellation or postponement of several planned features, and as the issue’s print deadline approached, I was beginning to wonder if we’d have enough new boats to fill the magazine.

Thankfully – and as usually happens – it worked out fine in the end. Our Australian correspondent Kevin Green supplied a comprehensive review of Riviera’s new flagship vessel, the 78 MY, which debuted last month at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show; John Macfarlane dodged rain squalls to sail the Given 14.5m sailing cat Katoa from Marsden Cove to Tutukaka; and at the 11th hour I managed to avoid thunderstorms to review Dreadnort Boats’ interesting V5500 CC trailer boat.


There’s plenty more winter to come, of course, but hopefully subsequent weather systems will move through a bit more quickly and provide a few more fine breaks between fronts!

With the shortest day already behind us and spring on the horizon, the thoughts of many will be turning towards the traditional start of the summer boating season. For Auckland sailors, that’s Labour Weekend, kicked off by the New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club’s (NZMYC) Coastal Classic Yacht Race.

This year the PIC Coastal Classic, starting in the vicinity of Devonport Wharf on the morning of Friday 21 October 2022, will celebrate the 40th and Russell.

With last year’s race cancelled due to Covid 19, it has been two years since the fleet sailed into the Bay of Islands, so the organisers “are beyond excited to get this race underway,” says NZMYC Commodore Greer Houston. After the Covid-induced break, a large fleet is expected to race this year.

To mark this 40-year milestone, organisers are offering entrants the chance to win two return airfares to Barcelona – the home of the 2024 America’s Cup. Entries are now being accepted online – – and race organisers are encouraging participants to get prepared for the Labour Weekend ritual.

Looking forward to the race – and to spring – already!