12th – 13th May 2023
Great Escape WOW (Women on Water) weekend is a unique event; women organising the event and only women aboard for the entire weekend. It is designed to stretch women’s sailing skills in a safe environment and provide an opportunity for women to sail with other women in one of the most beautiful cruising grounds in the world.
Bad weather caused us to delay for two weeks, but the wait was worth it. For the sixth annual WOW weekend we had glorious sunshine and a little bit of breeze. Unfortunately, due to the reschedule, many of the women initially registered couldn’t attend. For those that did it was another weekend of catching up with old and new friends, laughter, beautiful scenery, and little bit of sailing.
Schedule of events
Friday night was an opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of the Opua Cruising Club, review the weather forecast and plan our passage. With SW winds forecast the crews selected Waiwhapuku Bay (Army Bay) as the destination, and we planned a course with a couple of mark roundings to make it interesting.
Saturday morning our fleet, three Raven 31s and two Noelex 30s, with twenty-two women aboard, motor sailed to the Southern Channel Markers where our fun “rally” commenced. Not a lot of wind but we managed to sail all day, an easy run with a short tight reach to the finish.
Arriving at Waiwhapuku Bay skippers selected their anchoring spots and successfully dropped anchor. The informal development of cruising skills is one of the nice outcomes from this weekend. Saturday evening we all enjoyed a generous feast ashore and a fun prizegiving.
Huge thanks to Burnsco Opua who again provided great prizes, they have generously donated great prizes every year and it is appreciated. We were also lucky enough to have Sea Glass Bays for the second year in a row and House of Rehua donating prizes. Thank you.
Sunday morning we enjoyed a hike around Moturua Island, the track was in excellent condition despite the recent heavy rain and although there was a lot of chatter going on we still managed to see plenty of birdlife. The sail home was primarily under iron spinnaker with a short stop for a swim at Motuarohia (Roberton) Island.