The scene is set for a stunning week of sailing at the inaugural Bay of Islands MACH 2 foiling week starting today , hosted by the Bay of Islands yacht club.
All manners of foiling vessels will be on show at the event's first edition in Bay of Islands waters, including Nacra, Moth, Waszp, and Kiteboard. Foiling is a process whereby a vessel's hull is lifted up and out of the water by wing-like foils mounted under the hull to decrease drag and increase speed.
About 40 vessels had entered and would take part in a variety of different events across the week. Today and tomorrow would be used as practise days where contestants could get a feel for the area. Tomorrow also featured a speed test to see who could move the fastest through the water.
Wednesday would be a rest day for competitors as well as a demonstration of different foiling techniques, before a race to Urupukapuka Island on Thursday and the fleet regatta starting on Friday and ending on Sunday.
From Monday to Thursday, competitors would be coming together at 4pm each day to compete in the Corners Cup, a competition where sailors would attempt a tough figure-eight styled course just off shore of the yacht club in Waitangi.
"It's the sport of the future really, the young kids in the club, all they want to do is foil," event co-organiser Chris Fewtrell said.
"The America's Cup is all about foiling, and sailing in the future is going to be more and more about foiling so we are trying to get in early and create an event that will make people want to come to the beautiful Bay of Islands."
Sailing enthusiasts could tune in to hear the action on 88FM from 4pm to 6pm on Monday to Thursday, relayed by renowned sailing commentator Randy Cunningham. A number of international sailors, including Olympic and world champion windsurfers, would also be attending the event.
Fewtrell said they had made the event span over the whole week to encourage more skilled sailors from overseas to come and race.
"It just makes it worthwhile for the international sailors coming and as the event builds up to the racing on the weekend."
The event would build up to the regatta over the weekend for those who were after title glory. Competitors will race three times over each of the three days, the first race starting at 12pm.
For more information, visit the event Facebook page, Bay Of Islands MACH 2 week.