Thursday, January 27, 2022



As the 2022 Zephyr Nationals have been cancelled the consolation prize for us Zephyrites who were rearing to go to Wellington for the Nationals is to watch last years video featuring some of the sailing highlights. I'll watch and see if I can see myself wallowing around in my boat 'Slipstream' 195 (That's the yellow boat with the old bugger still learning how to sail). Roll on next year - as the 2023 Nationals will be held at the same place as this years cancelled sailing - Worser Bay, Wellington.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022


  The 2022 Zephyr Nationals at Worser Bay in Wellingon have been cancelled - such is life in a world wide plague.

Hello All,

Unfortunately I am sending this email to all Zephyr contestants to let you all know that we’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel the upcoming 2022 Zephyr National Champs planned at Worser Bay 3-6 Feb and that we will be rescheduling the next Zephyr national champs at WBBC for a similar time in 2023 (still TBC).

The key factors driving this decision have been:

  • Our expected event attendance numbers, including sailors, support people and our club volunteers, would likely exceed the maximum 100 person limit for events operating under My Vaccine Pass requirements for the Red level, so this event would be pushing the boundaries of the guidelines in the protection framework, even if overall numbers dropped below 100 for the event.
  • Omicron is the most highly contagious variant of Covid-19 so far and the NZ Government have warned that they expect this variant to infect many more people and spread far more quickly than previous variants, as people infected with Omicron often have low level symptoms or are asymptomatic at the initial infection stages, which can also be difficult to detect through early testing. The Govt has signalled that over the next few weeks we could expect several hundreds or even thousands of new community transmitted infections per day.
  • A number of our key volunteers have also communicated their concerns about being involved in such a large event operating 2 weeks into the Covid Red level, due to the risks and uncertainty about potentially unaware infected participants that may also be attending the event.

I do understand that this must be very disappointing news for those of you who have registered and looking forward to sailing at these championships, as well as for many of our organising committee members who have done a lot of great work towards the planning of this regatta.  But I do strongly feel that managing the impending risks to the health and safety of our sailors and volunteers is the highest priority in this situation. I do hope you understand this too.  It certainly has been a tough decision to make.

I will be meeting with our organising committee this week to further work through the impacts of this cancellation and to also look at how we can refund as much of the registration and dinner fees as possible, so I will be in touch again soon with more information as it becomes available.

Best Regards

John Kliffen

WZOA President and 2022 Organising Committee Chairman


Tuesday, January 25, 2022

_____________________ GOOD ON YA NEW ZEALAND ____________________

I am very disappointed about the cancellation of this years Zephyr Yacht Nationals not only because I will miss the sailing and racing and all that that means, but also because I was all set to stay and have a catch up with an old friend in Wellington. Having said that, broadly speaking I support the actions of the organisers of the event, Wellingtons'  Worser Bay Yacht Club. I support the clubs decision because they in turn are falling in line with government requirements which I also support. Why? :

If you extrapolate the UKs Covid death toll to New Zealands population, we would have had nearly 15,000 deaths from Covid, instead of the 54 deaths that we have had by following strict regulations and protocols.

If you extrapolate NZs death toll to UKs population the UK would have had only 670 deaths not the 176,000 that they have had. In a similar manner the USA would only have had around 5000 deaths instead of their grim toll of 800,000.

The reason for the lower toll in New Zealand are complex including the fact that there has been a delayed pandemic effect due to our distance from the rest of the world which has enabled NZ to learn from the rest of the worlds experience. Lock downs have been effective because of a high level of compliance which has given breathing space to get high vaccination levels established (well over 90%). The key elements in all of this has been common sense health measures - wear a mask, get vaccinated and avoid large gatherings. None of this is draconian - and I support all of this. We are at war.

ALSO - I want to live long enough to win the Zephyr Nationals. I was 60th in 2018 and 46th in 2021. By my calculations, if this trend continues, I will be winning the contest in 2081 when I am 130 years old - reason enough to battle a plague and stay alive for.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

____________ MY OLD MATE SLIPSTREAM AND I HEAD SOUTH ____________

I found this photograph on the Zephyr Instagram site. I (on the left) am talking to a fellow Zepherite on the beach at Manly (A beach on the Whangaparoa Peninsula slightly north of Auckland New Zealand) while my yellow Zephyr 'Slipstream' looks on - on the occasion of the 2021 National contest.

This comment from the Instagram site sums up the spirit of sailing a Zephyr - and I say amen to all this:

Next month I head south again to Worser Bay Wellington for the 2022 National Zephyr Championships. I hope to improve on my placings at the other two Nationals I have raced in (60th Worser Bay 2018 and 46th Manly 2021). At 70 years of age a placing in the top half of the fleet will be very pleasing indeed.

What I like about this photo (taken in 2021 at the Nationals in Manly) is that my second hand $4000 home renovated Zephyr (195 in the photo) is ahead of 703 which is one of the new beautiful fiberglass Zephyrs that are now available costing north of $25,000. It's races like this that makes all the renovation blood, sweat and tears worthwhile! Of course it doesn't stop me thinking that a brand spanking new fiberglass model would be rather nice.

What the weather will be like at this years Nationals in Wellington is anybodies guess - but one thing we all know in New Zealand is that if it blows in Wellington - it BLOWS!

So shipmates I'll soon be hitching up the mellow yellow Slippy and heading south - can't wait.