Yacht club set to celebrate 90 years

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A yacht club is planning to set sail on an anniversary regatta.

Vauxhall Yacht Club will hold the regatta to celebrate its 90th anniversary on March 2 and 3.

The event will incorporate the South Island Sunburst Championships and Z Class Championships, which will each have a five-race series.

Both classes “have been very popular on the harbour for many years, though the Z Class has now been replaced by more modern yachts”, club member Morris Hall said.

“There is still a small but enthusiastic group of older yachties who still sail these yachts which have a crew of two, as do the more modern Sunbursts.”

Other races will include an “old salts race” for members over 60, who will compete for the Alex Burt Trophy, a lady skippers race for the Stringer Trophy, a race for classic boats more than 40 years old for the Newton Trophy, Principal Day race and a point-to-point race for the Arthur Barnett Trophy.

There will also be a short race on Saturday morning for kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.

“Hopefully, we are going to strike a nice weekend.”

The clubrooms were opened in 1952 on the edge of the Otago Harbour in Vauxhall.

Home base . . . Vauxhall Yacht Club, on Portobello Rd. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

It was “handy” to a good piece of water for sailing and was reasonably safe.

The original clubroom in 1929 was the hulk of an old sailing ship, which burned down in 1930. The club then moved to a small boatshed.

Hall said there were not as many junior sailors in the club as when he started, so he was hoping to attract more.

“Kids come along and do it for a couple of terms and then they go away and try something else.”