Keelboat Racing Fleet

Racing forms a large part of the Club's activities and is an ideal way to extend any skipper's knowledge of their vessel and how to handle it in a variety of conditions.

The Lyttelton Harbour and adjacent offshore area provide a varied and testing, deep-water space for racing with no tidal restrictions. The Club has some 13 racing marks in place during the season as well as day marks depending on wind conditions and direction. Racing is managed either on water from a committee boat or ashore from the Club Start Box. The Club has several rescue boats to help the unfortunate.

Weather in Lyttelton Harbour can change rapidly from a warm sunny day with light breezes to a 30 knot southerly hailstorm. Excellent racing is available in most weather conditions, especially the prevailing Easterlies or the colder Southerlies, while the gusty Nor'wester provides testing conditions for those who choose not to reef!

With a history dating back to the 1830's the Club has received donations of a very large number of trophies ranging from hand crafted wooden boats to silver cups and modern sculptures. The Racing Programme gives details of the Trophies and Prizes to be awarded in each race. The Club is also fortunate to receive sponsorship for races from local firms with whom we are proud to be associated.

The Club operates a handicap system that starts with a rating based on physical characteristics but which, like a golf handicap, changes as the skills of the skipper improve. This means that anyone can win a race on the day, although only the fastest vessel receives Line Honours.

The racing programme is designed round two keeler divisions, a Non Spinnaker Division for cruising yachts and many Trailer Yacht Divisions. Many Club members have represented New Zealand in national events and the Club has a proud history of racing achievements.

During the year the Club hosts several regional and national events which bring in sailors from all over New Zealand. We extend a warm welcome to all our visitors. Please see the Events section for more information or contact the Club office for more information: (03) 328-7029

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