Lit­tle sail­ing boat takes on world

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ZIZI SPARKS

Hill­crest lo­cal Ian Vick­ers, was the only New Zealan­der to com­pete in the In­ter­na­tional One Me­tre World Cham­pi­onships.

The IOM is a class of ra­dio sail­ing boat with a stan­dard­ised sail plan and di­men­sions, and Vick­ers placed fourth in the com­pe­ti­tion held in Cal­i­for­nia last month.

There were 76 sailors from 21 coun­tries rac­ing in the six-day com­pe­ti­tion and Vick­ers com­pleted the races with a yacht he de­signed and built him­self.

The boat builder has raced in three of the bi­en­nial IOM World Cham­pi­onships since 1997 but this is the high­est he has placed. He has won the na­tional cham­pi­onships three times in the same pe­riod.

Vick­ers has raced with the North Shore Ra­dio Yacht Squadron since he be­gan the hobby in 1995. But he ad­mits he goes to catch up with the peo­ple in the 60-mem­ber club be­cause the wa­ter at Quarry Lake, near Lake Pupuke, isn’t suit­able for rac­ing.

‘‘The wa­ter is so clogged up with weed.’’

Vick­ers is a boat builder by trade and has al­ways loved model boats but he turned his hobby into a full­time job four years ago when he started to make the IOM boats in a work­shop in Beach Haven.

He makes about 70 boats a year with the help of a col­league and mostly sells them to over­seas buy­ers. Vick­ers sold his com­pe­ti­tion boat while at the world cham­pi­onships.

The ra­dio yacht mem­bers sail at Quarry Lake (be­side Lake Pupuke) on Satur­day af­ter­noons and Wed­nes­day morn­ings.

Photo: ZIZI SPARKS/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Ian Vick­ers in his Beach Haven work­shop work­ing on a ra­dio con­trolled yacht.

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