Everyone loves a sailing rally especially Windcraft yacht owners who are snapping up the opportunity to join these annual events where the comradery outweighs the competition.
80 yachts and 350 guests spread across Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland came together on the spectacular waterways of their cities for a common purpose, to sail with a community of like-minded yachties in a fun and non-competitive environment.
Windcraft owner Anthony Bishop says: ‘We have just completed our three 2018 Owners Rallies which are a highlight for us each year. It was great to see so many attending for the first time. I’m looking forward to doing it again in 2019!!’.
A true celebration of Windcraft’s family of yacht brands – Hanse, Dehler and Moody, the rallies have been a permanent fixture on our calendar of events for 11 years which is a testament to their popularity and success. The concept started in Sydney, expanded to Melbourne and the model has been effectively adopted across the ditch in Auckland, New Zealand .
The magical Hauraki Gulf set the scene for this year’s New Zealand rally. The yachts sailed from Rangitoto’s Islington Bay, around Rakino Island to Owhanake Bay on Waiheke Island in a very light south-easterly breeze and attracted a huge 38 boats. All anchored up the fleet made for a great sight, while owners enjoyed festivities ashore. Lots of prizes – always lots of prizes and more hilarity as the night went on made for an awesome evening of fun and celebration.
Boating New Zealand, the monthly must read, was so intrigued by the local enthusiasm for the event they asked Dominic Lowe , who heads up Team Windcraft in New Zealand, if they could join in. Thank you to the Brighouse family who obligingly took the journalists out as guests for the day on their new model Hanse 418 which incidentally lent a unique angle to the magazine’s boat review of this model. Read the full story here.
The rallies are designed for the entire Windcraft family – reflected in the diversity of crews out on the water – families and even pets, couples, a bunch of mates, sailors who race, sailors who have never crossed a start line before.
“The Windcraft tradition of brightly coloured souvenir polo shirts adds to the lively spectacle of the the rallies.”
For some owners their first rally can be an experience outside their comfort zone yet still provide a tremendous sense of satisfaction. Those with a more competitive edge can choose the additional leg of the course and fly their extra’s i.e. a spinnaker or gennaker. There is something for everyone.
Michael Vandertop on his Hanse 325 ‘P’Zazz’ is a new owner who joined the rally on the stunning Mornington Peninsula’s Safety Beach in Melbourne. He says:
“We really enjoyed the Melbourne Owners Rally – it’s great to take part in a sailing event that is all about fun rather than competition! Getting together with like-minded people doing a hobby we love is why we bought our boat! The nice thing about this type of event is that you can try out different things to improve your skills in a fun environment.”
Running these events as a rally rather than a racing regatta is the key to their popularity – a safe and organised sailing event with some fun competition thrown in. We now announce the next years date straight away as we have owners who are booking holidays but don’t want to miss the annual rally!
“Bill and Elizabeth Peck with their Hanse 345 ‘Esprit d’Archachon’ say: ‘Just a quick note to say many thanks to you and all the crew at Windcraft. It was a fabulous day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. You guys really do put on a good show so please pass on our thanks. I have already booked in for next year’s Pittwater rally date.”
Monique and Justin on their Dehler 39 “Impulse” joined the rally in Pittwater, a picture postcard body of water flanked by Sydney’s Northern Beaches and pristine National Parks. They said ‘We had a fantastic day/night and are very much looking forward to the next Windcraft event. Thanks to the Windcraft team for yet another great event!’.
Supporting Partners and Community:
Windcraft supporting partners have played a major role and have added enormous value to the events by way of sponsorship and prizes. So thank you to Helly Hansen, Club Marine, North Sails and Lejen Marine in Australia who also play an integral role within the company on a daily basis.
The spirit of community participation is always present and appreciated with generous prize donations from local businesses.
Each year we have a major “lucky door” prize and every participating boat has an equal chance of winning!
Darren and Di from Hanse 415 ‘Tonic’ were stoked when their name was drawn out of the hat this year! They won a Highfield dinghy generously donated by Lejen Marine together with a Mercury outboard from Newport Marine.
The Perpetual Trophy Winners
Brett and Karen from Hanse 350 ‘La niche’ were the proud winners of the 2018 Pittwater Owners Rally.
As relaxed as it is, it’s pretty special to have your name on the trophy so congratulations to Brett and Karen!
So that’s the rally season until next year – it’s all about the comradery of a shared passion, mateship, mingling and sharing stories over drinks and dinner.
All you have to do is be part of the Windcraft family to join in and experience the fun. So go for it!
2019 Owners Rally locations and dates:
New Zealand: 23 Feb 2019
Melbourne, Safety Beach: 2 March 2019
Pittwater, Sydney: 30 March 2019