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Evolution Sails NELSON REGATTA


Nelson Keelboat Regatta

Top of the South Trailer Yacht and Sports Boat Regatta



Don’t Miss Nelson’s Biggest Regatta!

A large fleet of trailer yachts will be competing for the South Island Championship, joined by sports boats and keelers in the biggest regatta event in Nelson.  A full program of racing starts on Friday 17th January 2020 and goes through to Tuesday 21st, show casing Tasman Bay with great sea breezes and a fantastic mountain backdrop.

Fleets include: 

  • Trailer Yachts
  • Sports Boats
  • Keelers
  • Cruising Division

Feeders for the regatta include the RPNYC Wellington to Nelson Race and the Waikawa Regatta, two weeks prior. Then there is just enough time to celebrate in Nelson before flying out to join a boat for Bay Week.

The regatta is scheduled to start on the evening of 17th January with a rum race in the harbour for all divisions, and these will start two days of round the buoys racing on Saturday. During this time the annual Wellington to Nelson race will bring visiting keelers to Nelson. Keeler racing will continue, with the official keeler division starting on Sunday with three races round the cans for the Romeo and Juliet divisions, and a coastal race for the cruising boats. On Monday the keelers will set off across Tasman Bay for two days of coastal racing which will include a night in Torrent Bay. A chance for a beach party and a night in the Able Tasman National Park.

About the Nelson Regatta

The inaugural Nelson Regatta was conceived in 2009 by a group of local sailors, with ambitions of placing the region back on the national sailing map. Over the years the format has evolved to create a competitive and social week of racing that showcases the beauty of Tasman Bay.

The warm pristine waters of Tasman Bay have been the playground of New Zealand Olympic and World Champion sailors for many years. This is your opportunity to join this tradition as the Tasman Bay Cruising Club welcomes sailors and supporters to the region.

Event Schedule

Program 2020

Nelson Regatta 2020 – Schedule of Events

Fri 17th Jan16:30Briefing for Trailer Yachts and Sports Boats
18:00Invitation race for all divisions
Sat 18th08:00
Breakfast at TBCC
09:00 Welcome, Registration and Briefing for all boats, followed by Round the Cans Racing for all divisions at approx 11:00 hrs
17:30Social Evening at TBCC with live music – Flip Side
Meals available
Sun 19th0730Breakfast at TBCC
09:00Prize giving for Wellington – Nelson race
09:30Welcome, Registration and Briefing for Wellington Boats
11:00 Trailer Yachts continue
Keelers Race 1, Race 2, Race 3
Coastal race for cruisers
17:00Prize giving for Trailer Yachts and Sport Boats
18:00Social, Meals available at TBCC
19:00Prize giving for Keelers races 1 to 3
Mon 20th07:30
Breakfasts available
Briefing for Keelers at TBCC
10:00 Keeler Race 4 – Outside start for the Nelson to Torrent Bay race
Tue 21st10:00 Race 5 – Torrent Bay to Tonga Island
12:00 Race 6 – Tonga Island to Nelson
18:00 Meals available and bar open
20:00Final Prize giving & Thank you to our sponsors

Frequently Asked Questions

Which fleet for me?

The Trailer Yachts and Sports Boats will race separately on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The NZTYA South Island Championships will be held in conjunction with the Nelson Regatta.

Keel-boats will be in three divisions, Romeo for the higher handicaps, Juliet for the lower handicaps, and a cruising division for those who don’t wish to race round the buoys. The keel-boats will again race to, from, and within The Abel Tasman National Park on Monday to Tuesday.

Two Yachting Association categories will apply for keel-boats: for all inshore races YA Cat 5 will apply; and for the longer passage races to, from, and within Abel Tasman National Park (weather permitting) YA Cat 4 will apply.

Who sets the Handicaps?

The Nelson Regatta Race Committee has appointed a handicapping team to set handicaps in consultation with Waikawa and Port Nicholson Yacht Clubs. The Regatta will be run using club handicaps; results for those with PHRF and IRC handicaps will also be available.

  • Handicapped on previous/known performance for the boat or the type of boat
  • Handicaps may be adjusted after each race.

When will I know my Handicap?

Provisional Handicaps for each Division are now available from Here:




Can I live aboard my yacht during the Regatta??

Yes, and Nelson Waterfront and the marina will be a busy place. There are showers and toilets ashore which you can use, and a number of good restaurants and accommodation facilities for those wanting a solid bed.

Do I need to book a marina berth?

We recommend you do book a berth. Please refer to our Marina Information page.

What are the Nelson tides for the period covering the regatta?

Saturday18-01-20200421 3.46m1032 1.03m1648 3.49m
Sunday19-01-20200528 3.32m1140 1.18m1757 3.35m
Monday20-01-20200640 3.27m1253 1.23m1909 3.31m
Tuesday21-01-20200750 3.32m1404 1.18m2016 3.35m

Reference New Zealand Hydrographic Authority tide predictions.

What if I have more questions?

If you as an entrant have any further questions you would like answered or have a request for further information, please contact the personal listed on the Events Contact page or email to:

Alister Morison alistermorison@gmail.com

Mob: 021 2770753

Also if boats need crew or crew need boats, contact Alister on the above email.

Regatta Sponsors

We wish to extend a huge THANK YOU to our principal sponsor, eVolution Sails and all of of our awesome sponsors!

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