Megan and I went along to the opening day of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Auckland City. She’s not a rugby fan, and despite being born and bred in Auckland, she had never been to Eden Park. It’s fair to say this was a bit of a coup on my part, facilitated by our friends’ generous gift of two tickets. It would have been rude not to go…

We joined the crowds at a sold-out stadium and thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, the people, the entertainment, the rugby and even a hotdog on a stick. It was great to attend a major event again after all the disruption of recent years. It was a huge success, as a world-class event, and for us as a day out.

It’s wonderful to see people around the country embracing public events again. And with summer around the corner, it’s no different for boating. Recently, regular Boating NZ contributor Sarah Ell took part in the Waikawa Boat Club’s women’s regatta, an event that suffered disruption in 2021, but enjoyed a great comeback this year. More than 30 boats and 220 sailors raced each other in the often-tricky sailing conditions of the Marlborough Sounds. See page 94 for the story.

Just last weekend (as I write), Boating NZ publisher Tim Porter towed his 1980s Donzi speedboat from his home in Wanaka to Lake Brunner for the Lake Brunner Classic Boats get-together, an annual event which was, by all accounts, a huge success. The organisers are already planning next year’s get-together.

There’s always strong interest in classic, vintage and traditional boats, which are again the theme for the upcoming Canterbury Classic and Traditional Regatta at Akaroa, 18-19 November – see our news story in Boat World for details – and there’s also the Lake Rotoiti (South Island) Antiques and Classic Boat Show, coming up March 4-5, 2023.


Meanwhile, in Auckland, the big news is the PIC Coastal Classic, which sets sail off Devonport Wharf on October 21, just a day after this magazine goes on sale. 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the iconic 119-nautical-mile Auckland to Russell race and it promises to be one of the biggest ever.

The Classic’s mass start is always a spectacle, which Aucklanders can witness from many vantage points around the harbour, or from their own boats.

There’s more yacht racing too: Auckland will host the 2022 Barfoot & Thompson Women’s World Match Racing Championship on the Waitemata Harbour, November 9-13. The championship is timed to take advantage of global attention on New Zealand and sporting women via the Rugby World Cup and the IWG World Conference on Women & Sport.

While the Coastal finishes in the Bay of Islands, with most boats heading back south afterwards, the Bay will be home for the duration of the 20th edition of Bay of Islands Sailing Week, which attracts entries from all over the country. Cancelled last year for you know what, BOI Sailing Week is scheduled for a massive comeback in January 2023. See our news story for details.

2023 will also see the return of the Auckland Boat Show, set in the heart of the City of Sails, March 9-12. The show, which returns after an almost three-year hiatus, will have a new format and venue – Jellicoe Harbour, previously the America’s Cup team bases – and promises to showcase more than 200 domestic and international marine businesses, including dozens of vessel manufacturers and boat brokers. New Zealand’s biggest boat show is keenly anticipated by the boating public and the boating industry alike.

Nor should we forget Sail GP, coming to Lyttelton in March 2023 – speed, sailing royalty, international media, and spectacular close-up viewing for New Zealand audiences for the first time.

I’m looking forward to all of it.



John Eichelsheim