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Friday 17th – Tuesday 21st January 2025


Nelson Keelboat Regatta

Elliot 5.9 South Island Circuit

Trailer Yacht Regatta

Aon Cup Club Challenge

2024 Photos

Don’t Miss Nelson’s Largest Keel Boat Regatta!

The 2025 Regatta – the biggest yachting event in Nelson – is for everyone – keelers, trailer sailors and sports boats. A large fleet of trailer yachts and sports boats will be competing in the Trailer Yacht Regatta; keelers will be competing to win the Nelson Regatta and the Aon Cup Club Challenge. Trailer sailors also have the opportunity to join the keelers in their races to and from the Abel Tasman National Park. A full program of racing starts on Friday 17th January and goes through to Tuesday 21st January 2025, show casing Tasman Bay with great sea breezes and a fantastic mountain backdrop.

Fleets include: 

  • Trailer Yachts
  • Sports Boats
  • Keelers
  • Cruising Boats

The event kicks off on the Friday evening with the Invitation Rum Race in the harbour for all entrants. This is followed on Saturday by Day One of the Trailer Yacht Regatta and a practice day for the keelers with round the buoys racing and a passage race for the cruisers. Also during Saturday the annual Wellington to Nelson race will bring visiting keelers to Nelson.  Sunday is Day Two of the Trailer Yacht Regatta and the start of the official Nelson Regatta which begins with three round the cans races for the Romeo and Juliet divisions, and a coastal race for the cruising boats. On Monday trailer yachts are welcome to join the keelers and cruisers as they set off across Tasman Bay for two days of coastal racing which will include a night and a beach party in Anchorage in the Abel Tasman National Park. Tuesday sees the boats racing back to Nelson. Tuesday evening prize giving is always a great evening thanks to the many generous sponsors.

Feeders for the regatta include the RPNYC Wellington to Nelson Race and the Waikawa Regatta .

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

Programme 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

Which fleet for me?

The Trailer Yachts and Sports Boats will race separately on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Trailer Yacht Regatta 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 and 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 handicaps. The Regatta will be run using club handicaps.

  • 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 will follow.

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 accommodation facilities for those wanting a solid bed.

Do I need to book a marina berth?

Yes you do. Please refer to our Marina Information page.

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

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 email


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 our other awesome sponsors!

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