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There are a number of great boating clubs in the Bay of Islands including the Kerikeri Cruising Club, Bay of Islands Yacht Club, Opua Cruising Club and the Russell Boating Club.

Extending over the water in Matauwhi Bay, the Russell Boating Club is brimming with character and history. Once home to a boat building business and later a fish factory, the Boating Club has added a few salty tales to the story of this corner of the bay.

Matauwhi Bay is approximately 700m walk from central Russell. It has long provided a protected anchorage and remains a preferred mooring area in the bay. The headland area is Department of Conservation land, providing a peaceful and natural setting. Aside from the rattle of halyards and clanging of oars, you can hear weka, gulls and occasional kiwi call. Rare migratory terns also appear on ocassion to join the herons wading in the shore.

Club facilities include the clubhouse bar and dining room, slipway, dinghy dock and moorings. Social events, racing and junior sailing feature in the program.
The Bay of Islands is a popular port of call for cruising yachts between November and May. In the summer months, the club has a lively atmosphere, particularly on racing nights. Twilight Racing is popular, with sunset sailing on balmy nights in the bay. Winter is warmed by a fire and family roast nights alongside winter racing.

The Tall Ships Classic Race & Regatta is legendary event on the annual calendar, held in January every year. Following a fun race the club hosts a prizegiving with live music and a hangi. Hundreds are fed from the combined effort of volunteers who peel vegetables, prepare seafood, meat and the hangi grounds.

Year-round, the atmosphere at the Russell Boating Club is down-to-earth and unassuming. Memorabilia hangs from the rafter and photographs line the walls.

The Russell Boating Club is held in fond regard by members, volunteers and sponsors. If you would like to join them or call in for an evening, membership is open and all are welcome.

T. 403 7222
E. russellboatingclub@gmail.com