The beach party re­turns

A much-loved fea­ture of CRC Bay of Is­lands Sail­ing Week from years gone by is set to make a come­back at next year’s re­gatta. With the sup­port of Ex­plore and Ote­hei Bay, the Bay Week Beach Party re­turns on Thurs­day, Jan­uary 24.

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Tra­di­tion­ally, the Thurs­day-night beach party was the so­cial high­light of the Bay of Is­lands Sail­ing Week re­gatta. Skip­pers and crews would look for­ward to an­chor­ing up at a se­cluded is­land beach af­ter the sec­ond day of rac­ing, where a li­censed bar was brought in by ve­hi­cle ferry to cater to the weary sailors’ thirst. But lo­gis­ti­cal is­sues saw the event fall by the way­side some years ago, and the beach party be­came con­signed to fond-yet-hazy mem­o­ries.

That was un­til CRC Bay of Is­lands Sail­ing Week or­gan­is­ers teamed up with tourism op­er­a­tor Ex­plore, which runs the Ote­hei Bay re­sort on Urupuka­puka Is­land, to bring the event back to life.

The big dif­fer­ence this year is that Ex­plore will of­fer a pas­sen­ger ferry ser­vice to trans­port party-goers to Ote­hei Bay, and back again later in the evening. Sailors won’t need to worry about get­ting their boats back to Opua in the dark, and can safely en­joy a few drinks be­fore catch­ing the ferry home. It’s a for­mat that’s prov­ing pop­u­lar, with a Face­book Event set up for the beach party al­ready at­tract­ing over 500 in­ter­ested peo­ple.

An Ex­plore ferry will col­lect pas­sen­gers from Re­gatta HQ in Opua, with pick-ups in Pai­hia and Rus­sell along the way, and trans­port them to the beau­ti­ful beach re­sort at Ote­hei Bay, where a fully-li­censed bar and cafe are among the fa­cil­i­ties, and live mu­sic and a sausage siz­zle will add to the party at­mos­phere. The ferry will re­turn to Opua, via Pai­hia and Rus­sell, later the same evening.

The beach party is open to CRC Bay of Is­lands Sail­ing Week par­tic­i­pants and their friends and fam­ily, and ferry tickets are $10 per per­son re­turn – a huge sav­ing on the usual rate. Book­ings are open now via the CRC Bay of Is­lands Sail­ing Week web­site, or via the Ex­plore Bay of Is­lands Sail­ing Week Beach Party Event on Face­book, and early book­ing is rec­om­mended. BNZ

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