• Bay of Islands Sailing Week beach party. Photo (c) Lissa Reyden - lissaphotography.co.nz.
    Bay of Islands Sailing Week beach party. Photo (c) Lissa Reyden - lissaphotography.co.nz.
  • Bay of Islands Sailing Week beach party. Photo (c) Lissa Reyden - lissaphotography.co.nz.
    Bay of Islands Sailing Week beach party. Photo (c) Lissa Reyden - lissaphotography.co.nz.
  • Bay of Islands Sailing Week beach party. Photo (c) Lissa Reyden - lissaphotography.co.nz.
    Bay of Islands Sailing Week beach party. Photo (c) Lissa Reyden - lissaphotography.co.nz.
  • Bay of Islands Sailing Week beach party. Photo (c) Lissa Reyden - lissaphotography.co.nz.
    Bay of Islands Sailing Week beach party. Photo (c) Lissa Reyden - lissaphotography.co.nz.
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The CRC Bay of Islands Sailing Week Beach Party is on the cards again, and organisers are predicting another sell-out success on the back of the last event.

Hundreds of regatta participants, together with their families and friends, are expected to join in the fun at Otehei Bay on idyllic Urupukapuka Island, on Thursday 23 January, 2020 after racing concludes on the regatta’s second day.

A highlight of the regatta in its early years, the traditional Thursday night beach party was resurrected in 2019 after a long absence, thanks to Explore’s Otehei Bay resort which came on board as sponsor and venue for the event.

Ferry tickets quickly sold out for the 2019 party, and although organisers have increased capacity for 2020, they are still warning people to book early to secure a spot at what is likely to be a very popular event.

Regatta Chairperson Manuela Gmuer-Hornell says they hadn’t anticipated just how popular the last beach party would be.

“There were quite a few people who didn’t book and couldn’t get out there because the ferries were all full,'' she says. “So even though we’ve increased capacity this year, it’s still a good idea to book your tickets in advance to make sure you’re not left behind while everyone else is out there having a great time.”

Explore are offering heavily discounted ferry tickets at a cost of just $15 return for those heading to the Bay of Islands Sailing Week Beach Party. The usual adult return ticket price is $50. Ferries will depart from Opua, with pickups along the way at Paihia and Russell, and return later in the evening along the same route.

While some sailors prefer to sail their own boats to the party, organisers say the ferry service is the easiest and safest way to get there and back.

“It makes it easy for everyone to get out there and back safely, without having to navigate back in the dark,'' says Gmuer-Hornell, “Especially if you’re going to be enjoying a drink.”

Northland covers band The Legacy Band will provide live entertainment, and party-goers can enjoy a selection of food and drinks from the fully licensed Otehei Bay Cafe & Bar.

More information can be found at www.bayofislandssailingweek.org.nz, where a ferry booking link will be available in the next few days.

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