Learn more about Yachting NZ’s Role – RNZYS Member Update

Yachting New Zealand is the national body for sailing and boating, representing and advocating on behalf of member yacht clubs, class associations, and you as members of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Often the work we do goes unseen, and the benefits of belonging to the national body go unrecognised by many. With memberships coming up for renewal in the coming months, it’s timely to talk about what Yachting New Zealand does for the sport.

All clubs and sailors who want to race both locally and internationally need to be a member of a club affiliated to Yachting New Zealand, and any club who wish to run racing must be affiliated to the national body. Clubs not affiliated cannot use the Racing Rules of Sailing and instead must use the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, more commonly known as the COLREGs.

Yachting New Zealand also run the PHRF handicapping system, maintain the boat register and provide guidance to clubs who run racing. 

Clubs need race officials and we provide free training for race officials (race officers, judges, umpires and measurers) and volunteers, with many going on to officiate at top international events. Affiliated groups can also attend any of our coach education courses, from learn to sail and keelboat coach right up to high performance coach. We are currently working to expand our offering of online education courses to include all levels of coaching.

We have a national learn to sail syllabus and qualification pathway (for dinghies and keelboats), which is accredited by World Sailing. Many people use these qualifications to then go on to charter boats in New Zealand and around the world.

These courses can’t run without on-water support vessels. Many of these boats are technically commercial vessels, which carry significant costs to be in survey. Yachting New Zealand have worked with Maritime New Zealand to develop an exemption pathway for member clubs to enable them to be exempt from the requirements of MOSS (Maritime Officer Safety System), resulting in substantial savings in both time and money to ensure clubs are compliant with the applicable rules and law. This process sees Yachting New Zealand working with clubs to ensure they are operating their vessels to best practice in terms of safety and is not available to clubs or organisation not affiliated to Yachting New Zealand.

New Zealand is at the forefront of international sailing and our high performance and talent development programmes are world-class. We provide pathways, coaching and campaign support to top talent and many from Yachting New Zealand’s high performance programmes go on to compete in international competitions such as the Olympics, America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, TP52 Super Series and Extreme Sailing Series. Many have won world championships at both youth and open level, not to mention match racing and other non-Olympic classes.

It’s not all about racing, though. Yachting New Zealand spend a significant amount of time advocating on behalf of members, from preventing legislation such as compulsory registration of vessels to protecting safe anchorages that we have all enjoyed for decades. This incurs significant cost but we think it’s critical to advocate on behalf of the boating community to protect access to the water. A list of legal submissions, and cases Yachting New Zealand are involved in, can be found on the advocacy page of our website. More HERE 

One of the most significant wins for the whole boating community were the outcomes we fought for in Plan Change 4 and continue to fight for in the Northland Regional Plan review process. Plan Change 4 was a proposal by the Northland Regional Council that would make it easier to establish marine farms in this area, but we initiated an appeal worried that marine farming could clog popular bays and hamper safe passage and cruising through the Northland region and received a successful outcome in the Environment Court.

We provide guidance and resources to clubs and classes and offer advice around how they administer their club, including risk management, inclusion, event management, coaching resources and much more. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is supported by a number of Yachting New Zealand staff, including regional support officer Raynor Haagh. Feedback from around the country suggests the assistance from our four regional support officers is invaluable to club capability and as a conduit between clubs and the national body. Yachting New Zealand support club fundraising efforts, including helping access greater levels of funding from community trusts than would not be possible were the club not affiliated to the national body.

On the technical and safety side, Yachting New Zealand maintain and update the safety regulations and carry out yacht inspections for racing on behalf of Maritime New Zealand. Members of affiliated clubs also receive a discounted price on category 1 inspections for offshore voyages. 

We now have 75 clubs who have signed up to the club membership scheme.

We refreshed our website last year, making it more user-friendly and easier to navigate, and also added a more comprehensive regatta calendar. You can find a copy of our strategic plan on the website, showing how we plan to grow our sport in the coming years. More HERE

Yachting New Zealand publish a fortnightly e-newsletter Briefings, which helps keep the sailing and boating community informed and connected. If you do not receive this, we recommend you sign up via our website. More HERE

We strive to be better and welcome feedback, but we are proud of the work we do on behalf of our members, and the value we provide to clubs, their members, and the sailing and boating communities generally.

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