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.
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