At the club
The Wellington fleet continues to flourish and develop. We are looking forward to seeing all 7 boats on the water for the summer racing. We have four key regattas in a season; Rotorua Sprints, NZ Team Trials, Interdominions and the Nationals, with one casual regatta in Tucks Bay Coromandel. So we’ll be away quite a bit.
At a national level the overall fleet has got fast! There is continuation of development happening, to find that ellusive little bit more. At the moment all the development seems to be happening in the rigging areas; with stiffer masts, and carbon stays through to simplification programmes – going to a two-rig set up. Keep an eye out, there is some interesting development happening – no, you won’t see a 12 on foils any time soon, but watch what happens over the next year.
There are still boats in Wellington that either need crews or custodians, so if anyone is interested get in touch. Check out the website, www.skiff.org.nz and a new Facebook page “New Zealand 12 Foot Skiff Sailing“. Much of our communication is via social media where people can keep up to date on developments and results.
About the class
A Skiff in a sailing context is a high performance competitive sailing craft.
There are a number of different craft which are called skiffs but they are generally small coastal or river boats with a one-person or small crew. Skiffs were originally powered by oars or sails, and sailing skiffs have developed into high performance competitive classes.
In Sydney, Australia and in New Zealand the term is used for a number of racing classes (sizes from 6 ft to 23 ft have existed). These were originally heavily crewed and canvassed boats that were relatively short for the canvas and crew carried and were developed from working boats of the time. This style of boat is still active in the form of Historical 10 foot and 18 foot classes. The Skiff classes developed to become much lighter and faster with relatively smaller (but still very large by any other standards) rigs and smaller crews. 12ft Skiff, 16ft Skiff and 18ft Skiff classes are raced in that form. With two crew on the 12 footer and three on the 16 and 18 these are still heavily crewed boats for their size.