The 2023 Pacific Rally is the biggest in the event’s 40-year history .
Rally director and Island Cruising New Zealand owner Viki Moore said this year’s fleet is made up of 72 boats, with 35 of those on board being children.
“It is our biggest ever fleet,” she said.
“Most departed New Zealand early in May with some heading for Tonga as their first stop while others sailed directly for Fiji. They’ll explore the islands with some also heading to Vanuatu and New Caledonia before sailing home to New Zealand at the end of October. We also collect up international cruisers along the way and encourage them to visit New Zealand over summer.”
The rally has been running since the mid-1980s with the aim to help sailors realise their cruising dreams.
“It is a great way to explore the Pacific and the rally includes assistance and advice to help people prepare their vessels, their crew and themselves for an offshore voyage,” Moore said.
“The rally sponsors also provide some excellent discounts and advice along the way – there is help with finding crew, support with weather routing along the way and, importantly, connecting with everyone who is sailing in a similar direction.”
Moore, who has been on the board of Yachting New Zealand since 2017, took over the business in 2021 after several years of Covid-19 disruptions.
Last year’s rally saw 40 boats spending nearly six months spread around the Pacific. These boats are made up of both yachts, monohulls, catamarans and power boats.
“The rally is a wonderful way for sailors to experience the Pacific. They’ve got the flexibility to do their own thing, an instant connection with other cruisers heading in their direction, and all the backup and support of Island Cruising should they have any problems along the way.”
The friendships made on a rally often last a lifetime, and the support the boats give one another along the way cannot be underestimated, Moore added.
“There is a WhatsApp group for the whole rally to enable them to ask questions, share ideas and connect with each other.”
People are free to choose their own dates and destinations, or they can cruise with the group and enjoy special events, weather updates from a professional meteorologist on the passage, and impromptu social gatherings on the beach with other rally participants.
Rally participants also get lots of support pre-departure, helping people prepare their boats, their vessels and crew for the adventures ahead. The Island Cruising sponsors have the ability to promote their products, advice and support to their members.
“We love all the help we get from our generous supporters” Viki says, “it is great to be able to recommend reputable companies and quality products to help our sailors achieve their sailing dreams, and avoid headaches fixing things all along the way.”
For more information on preparing for and joining next year’s rally or if your marine business is interested in supporting and using the rally to promote your business please, click here or contact Viki on firstname.lastname@example.org