Thursday, 22 August 2019


Sailing camps with top-class equipment coming to Whitianga

After hosting a four-day youth sailing camp in Whitianga during January this year, the Waikato-Thames Yachting Association (WTYA) is returning next month with a larger team for two youth sailing camps, from Wednesday 9 January to Saturday 12 January and from Sunday 13 January to Wednesday 16 January.

The clubrooms of the Mercury Bay Boating Club (MBBC) in Buffalo Beach Road will be the camp headquarters.

“Both camps will be open to youth sailors and aspiring youth sailors of ages 10 and up,” says TWYA regional sailing development coach, Lorenz Magaard-Romano. “We’ll be catering for all abilities, from those who have never sailed before to more experienced sailors who would like sail in a different class of boat and improve their skills. All sailing gear will be provided.”

Lorenz and his team of fellow coaches will be bringing 12 virtually brand new O’pen BIC (generally referred to as Open BIC) sailing boats with them to Whitianga. “The Open BIC is a significant improvement on the old Optimist dinghies most sailors in New Zealand cut their teeth on,” says Lorenz. “I agree with Sir Russell Coutts who said the Open Bic is a fantastic boat for young sailors to experience the joy of sailing. It’s a fast and exciting boat and fun to sail, yet simple to rig and maintain. Many of the skills learned in the BIC will be easily transferred to other boats as sailors evolve and progress onto other forms of sailing.

“Open BICs are gaining popularity in New Zealand. In fact, the Open BIC world championships will be sailed at the Manly Sailing Club on the Whangaparoa Peninsula from later this month to early next month.”

The WTYA has five members clubs, including the Thames Sailing Club and the MBBC. The WTYA and the MBBC work together with regard to the Learn to Sail courses the MBBC offer to the youth sailors of Mercury Bay.

Lorenz hails from Canada and became fascinated with sailing after attending a youth sailing camp similar to the two camps that will be offered in Whitianga next month. He sailed competitively until he went to university, when he chose to become a sailing coach. He worked as a sailing coach in Canada and the USA before taking up a coaching position at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club in the Netherland Antilles. He left the St Maarten Yacht Club after Hurricane Irma largely destroyed the club’s fleet of sailing boats in September 2017 and joined the WTYA not long after.  

“We’re looking forward to come to Whitianga next month,” says Lorenz. “Mercury Bay is a great sailing venue. It offers safe ocean sailing and the scenery is spectacular.”

Jonathan Kline, coordinator of the MBBC youth sailing programme, says the WTYA has top-class equipment and very experienced coaches. “The upcoming WTYA sailing camps in Whitianga are a terrific opportunity for local youth sailors - and those sailors here for the holidays with their families - to tap in to these superb resources and continue their training during the summer,” he says. “We’re fortunate that Whitianga is such a great town and stunning sailing arena, everybody wants to visit here and sail here.”

Next month’s WTYA sailing camps cost $320 per person. Space is limited. To register and for more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.