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Wellington Ocean Sports Winter Update

Winter montage 2014

Although winter has well and truly set in there is still plenty of action happening at Wellington Ocean Sports. Over the last couple of months we have had it all – our establishment funding has come to an end which has resulted in a restructure, the MRX’s are gone, we received fantastic recognition at the Wellington Sports Awards securing sports administrator of the year and on top of all that there has been plenty of activity out on the water!


Part of the restructure has seen me return to manage Wellington Ocean Sports (as opposed to project managing the establishment of the programme which I have done for the last 3 years). Unfortunately this has coincided with the end of both our senior Instructor fulltime roles, I’m very please however that Jim Frost is staying on as a casual instructor as his cruising and seamanship knowledge is invaluable. 

While the departure of the MRX’s is disappointing and will reduce our overall capacity, it is a great opportunity for us to focus on our Muir 8.2 metre keelboats that were designed and built specifically for sail training on Wellington Harbour. I have done a lot of sailing on the Muirs over the years and they are ideal for learn to sail, learn to race, school and corporate sailing groups. They are easier to manage than the MRX’s, making them ideal for learning and perform well in race conditions. In the coming months we will look to secure access to another keelboat (or two) to cover the cruising space and increase our maximum capacity of people on the water. I also look forward to refurbishing the Muirs later this year so they will continue to deliver sail training for years to come. Wellington Ocean Sports has a number of ways you can get involved right now and a comprehensive range of courses lined up for spring. 

 582 Yelf2014

Learn to sail

It all begins with our lean to sail keelboats course. If you are yet to complete the course now is the time. If you have already then please consider inviting friends and family to get involved in this exciting sport. We’ll give a free casual sail to any grad that encourages a friend or family member to book. Everything you need is provided and no experience is necessary. You will be taught all the basics and we have a number of follow on opportunities such as cruising and racing courses, crewing on members boats and racing on our boats when they are available. Our next learn to sail course commences on Saturday 16 August and there are several places available for booking.

Winter Racing

There are two more races left in the RPNYC Winter Series and there is one place available for booking in this Sunday’s race. Get in really quick if you want to book that.


Racing Crew

Our next Racing Crew course commences on Saturday 13 September. The course will compete in at least two races in the RPNYC Spring Series. I highly recommend Racing Crew to all those who have completed our Learn to Sail course regardless of whether you are into racing or not, as this course will improve your sailing skills more than any other course we run.
Racing Crew is designed to take you to the level of “competent crew on a racing boat”. It is ideal preparation for those wishing to join the Club and crew regularly on member’s boats and is another step down the path of becoming a racing skipper. While completion of our Learn to Sail course isn’t a prerequisite for attending Racing Crew, participants must be at that level and have a handle on basic keelboat sailing concepts.

Cruising Crew

For those wanting to get involved in the wonderful world of cruising our next cruising crew course is commencing on Saturday 9 August. Cruising Crew follows on from the Learn to Sail Keelboats course and provides an opportunity to consolidate and build on your knowledge and skills. It also allows you to develop seamanship skills and covers navigation, weather, rules of the road and includes a night sail. Cruising Crew leads on to the very popular Cruising Skipper course.

Day Skipper

The very popular Coastguard Boating Education course “Day Skipper” is again being offered at Wellington Ocean Sports. Day Skipper is a 15 hour theory only course that is applicable to all water users. No experience is necessary to attend the course, but it is also ideal for those with boating experience who have never undertaken formal boating education.

Day Skipper leads on to New Zealand’s most widely recognised boating qualification “Boatmaster” and then to the prestigious “Coastal Skipper” qualification. Day Skipper covers the following topics – boats and equipment, navigation, rules and regulations, emergencies and basic knots.

Our next Day Skipper course is commencing on Tuesday 12 August runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5.30 to 8.30pm.


For those wanting to move to the next level Boatmaster is for you. The Boatmaster course is a 30-hour, theory-only course providing in-depth knowledge of all aspects of boating safety. Whilst this is an excellent stand-alone course, the Boatmaster course is also a pre-requisite for the 'Coastal Skipper' course.

Our next Boatmaster course commences on Tuesday 2 September and runs over Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5.30 to 8.30pm

VHF Radio Operator

Wellington Ocean Sports next VHF Radio Operator course is running over the evenings of 14 and 16 October from 5.30 to 8.30pm and there are still several places available for booking. This 6-hour, theory-only course including exam, provides the necessary knowledge required to obtain the "Marine VHF Operator Qualification”.

This is the minimum qualification required for anyone to legally operate a fixed or hand-held marine VHF Radio. We recommend adding on the MROC qualification, which is only an extra half hour, allowing you to operate HF SSB long range radio equipment.


Advanced Sea Survival

Wellington Ocean Sports is running its last Advanced Sea Survival Course for the year over the weekend of 13 and 14 September and there are several places available for booking. Advanced Sea Survival is a comprehensive theoretical and practical course required by crew competing in offshore races (category 1), such as the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. The course is equally applicable for anyone considering a cruising passage.

Modules covered include:
• History, statistics and legislation
• Accidents and emergencies
• Equipment
• Safety and emergency planning
• Risk assessment
• Man overboard, life rafts and equipment including a practical session
• Distress signals and responsibilities
• Wet drill
• SAR systems and responsibilities
• Fire precautions and fire fighting
• Medical care aboard
• Damage control
• Weather and forecasting
• Heavy weather techniques
• Storm sails
Further details and booking are available on our website

Coastal Medic

Our next Coastal Medic course is running over the weekend of 30 and 31 August 2014. This course offers participants the qualifications of Coastguard Boating Education Service Marine Medic (Coastal), NZQA units 6400, 6401, 6402 and Maritime New Zealand commercial first aid. It should be a prerequisite for anyone involved in ocean sports.

As well as its marine applications, this course exceeds the Health and Safety requirements of “two day workplace first aid”, so has many commercial usages.

Topics covered include:
• Trauma identification and assessment
• Medical emergencies
• Evacuation and medical assistance
• Casualty resuscitation – including an introduction to defibrillation
• Managing shock
• Treating internal & external bleeding
• Managing torso injuries
• Managing burns emergencies
• Managing fractures
• Managing soft tissue injuries
• Head, neck, spinal injury stabilisation
• Managing environmental injuries
• Managing minor wounds
• Managing minor ear and eye injuries

Further details and booking available here.

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