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New boats for Sailing Academy Trust

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Bay of Plenty Sailing Academy Trust (BoPSAT) celebrated the arrival of new Open Bic junior sailboats with a christening and launch at the Rotorua Yacht Club on Tuesday 11 September at 4pm.

BopSAT_web

The new boats and will enable clubs to broaden the reach of grassroots junior sailing across the local community, making sailing more accessible and more fun.

The Open Bic is a junior sailing boat which is revolutionising sailing in clubs around New Zealand. It is fun, fast, cool, and safe for improver and advanced sailors up to 60kg and age 12 plus. Whilst families with the means will buy these boats themselves ($5000 new), this will be beyond the reach of many.

BopSAT is adding eight Open Bics to their current fleet of Optimist boats and Techno windsurfers, and will initially base at least two of these new boats in Rotorua for low cost charter. This will allow Rotorua Yacht Club to start to build their programmes next season, with a view to increasing the number of boats available in 2019 as demand and funding dictates. BoPSAT expects some families will buy boats when they see that there is a strong fleet developing locally.

Meanwhile similar programmes will be going in on Port Ohope and in Tauranga, and BoPSAT will work to bring all these kids together for adventure programmes around the Bay including on the Rotorua Lakes.

The clubs already have beginner gear for many kids, but this is often either under-utilised, or the kids drop out after learning due to the lack of attractive and affordable pathways.

BoPSAT Chairman Stu Pederson says even a small number of Open Bic boats can make a big difference to the number of kids participating in beginner level sessions each season.

"It shows them that there is a viable and exciting pathway after the beginner courses which they can aspire to."

The Southern Trust have provided $20,000 and the Rotorua Trust $4000 towards the project, whilst TECT have contributed $8800 for Tauranga based boats. The balance has come from BoPSAT resources.

The first two Rotorua charters currently run to the end of the Christmas school holidays and the end of term one 2019.

About the Bay of Plenty Sailing Academy Trust

Our goal is to provide the opportunity for youth to experience the sport of sailing, irrespective of means or ability, and to create pathways and strategies to engage them in the sport for a lifetime.

We provide short and long term hire of sailing equipment to sailing clubs and schools on concessional terms to allow them to deliver beginner, improver and racing programmes at low cost. We currently work with Rotorua Yacht Club and Rotorua high schools, as well as in the other BoP centres.

Our sponsored schools programme takes selected kids from low decile primary schools to sailing clubs to learn to sail, gain life skills, see broader opportunities, and benefit from time with skilled mentors in the natural environment. This currently operates in Tauranga only.

Our sailing scholarships provide promising kids from the programme above with free club membership and instruction, and the free use of a boat, right through their school years if they remain committed. We have two current scholarship sailors.

We also charter racing gear to young sailors who are not in a position to, or not yet ready to buy their own.We currently have a number of Bic Techno windsurfers and Optimist sailing dinghies on charter, including at the AIMS Games regatta. The Open Bics fit into this part of our operation.
Any surplus funds from these charters go to our programmes above.

There's more background on our website www.bopsat.org.nz and our Facebook page.

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