The 2020 Laser Nationals will be sailed from the New Plymouth Yacht Club on Ngamotu Beach. The secure club compound will be cleared out to accommodate all competitors’ boats on beach trollies with road trailers stored in a reserve nearby. The large clubhouse has reasonable changing rooms, hot showers and plenty of indoor space for competitors.
It also has a manned kitchen and a carpeted bar area and deck which will be open every day after racing. Support boats must be launched from the boat ramp at the eastern end of the harbour. Note that while parking around the club is free, a parking permit or payment is required for the boat ramp car park. Spectators can walk to the end of the lee breakwater or walk to the bottom of Belt Rd to see the action from a distance.
The black iron sand slopes gently into the man-made harbour of Port Taranaki, giving sheltered launching and retrieval unless there is a howling northerly. The end of the windward breakwater is 1km off the beach and after that you are in the Tasman Sea. With the coastline pointing northwest and with wind largely coming from the southwest, the sailing area is protected from the SW swells but depending on wind patterns offshore, some nice swells can come in from the north to west sector. In many ways, the sailing is not too different to sailing off Takapuna or Nelson. However, if there is a large 6 second swell combined with wind from any other direction then expect some new experiences as swells pass though and waves on top come from a different direction.
Current and recent wave and wind data conditions can be tracked on the Port Taranaki website. In mid-January, you can expect the water temperature to be about 20C and you won’t have to worry about the depth. The average wind speed is historically 11kn, and 50% of the time the wind is over 10kn.
Ngamotu Beach is at one end of the Coastal Walkway which runs 12kmin an easterly direction all the way to Bell Block Beach. This is a shared walking/cycling path which is generally flat, passing by the Belt Rd Motor Camp, the Aquatic Centre, the City with its wind wand, crossing two streams to East End and Fitzroy surf beaches, the Fitzroy Motor Camp, crossing the Waiwhakaiho with the iconic Te Rewa Rewa Bridge and heading out to Bell Block past the Fitzroy and Ngamotu Golf Courses.
Bring a bike and enjoy some light exercise or use your bike to commute from coastal suburbs to the port. Bring your helmet and bell too or you can hire a bike from Cycle Inn in Devon St. If you are interested in road cycling, the walkway gives traffic-free access to some relatively flat country roads with little traffic in the general direction of Lepperton. Ask a local for directions/options.
OTHER LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
See the NPDC site for local activities you can organise for yourself, including swimming, cycling, art galleries, the Museum (Puke Ariki) and hiking.
The Festival of Lights in Pukekura Park runs through the summer and includes a free entertainment programme. Check out the programme when it is published
CAFES & RESTAURANTS
We should have a coffee service operating from the club every morning. Lunches will be provided for all racing support crew and should be available for purchase by competitors.
At the eastern end of the harbour, towards the boat ramp, The Bach is a good café with a full kitchen service. Slightly closer, you can find Gusto, a restaurant doing lunch and evening meals and Manou’s a café next to Chaddy’s Charters which operates lifeboat rides around the islands.
There is the Poolside Café at the Aquatic Centre and in town you can have your choice of café or restaurants of most ethnicities and fast food brands. If you want French pastries and bread, try The Public Catering Company or Petit Paris. A short drive out to Oakura offers further evening meal options. Any further advice will be available with your morning coffee at the Club
Nothing is very far away in New Plymouth and you will be able to leave your trailers close by the yacht club so you won’t need to worry about parking.
Motels in the city centre:
The Metrotel Motel
Our major sponsor, Mitre 10 has a store on St Aubyn St, one km away and a Mega store in the Waiwhakaiho Valley which if you are driving from the North, you will pass by as you come into New Plymouth.
The Water Shed (Dan Slater) will be on site with Laser gear available but if you need any particular items it would be a good idea to order those from Dan beforehand.
All major supermarkets can be found within a 1km stretch of the one-way system in town. There is also a new Countdown on South Rd to the west of the city.
Otherwise, IED Lifting on Breakwater Rd nearby has some general boating and sailing fittings as well as a selection of rope and cordage.
If you need any other information on the venue or New Plymouth generally: Please feel free to call John Pitman on 027 6693991