Watersports in Nelson

Nelson Watersports has teamed up with Nelson Yacht Club to be able to offer windsurfing tuition and hire from their excellent facilities on Wakefield Quay.

Tim Fraser-Harris Windsurfing InstructorTim Fraser-Harris is a RYA Windsurfing Instructor Trainer and Centre Inspector. He brings over 12 years experience teaching at and managing watersports centres around the world. He is also qualified under the Windsurfing New Zealand system. Tim is an experienced RYA Senior Dinghy Instructor, and RYA Powerboat Instructor. With Nelson Watersports, he hopes to actively promote and encourage more participation in water sports in Nelson.

When off the water, Tim keeps himself busy with mountain biking, orienteering, and playing golf. He loves the active Nelson lifestyle. He is also a keen skier. During the winter months he can often be found up at Rainbow!

Susanne BennellSusanne Bennell grew up sailing from a young age in North Wales. She competed as part of the Welsh and GBR Squads first in the Optimist and then the 420 Class. She competed at two World Championships. Whilst sailing with the 420 team, Suze also helped coach the Welsh Optimist Squad. She worked part-time for a number of seasons at Plas Menai, the National Watersports Centre in Wales.

Suze also windsurfs, kitesurfs, paddleboards and surfs when she gets the chance. She’s a real water baby! Away from the water she loves mountain biking, multisport, orienteering and generally keeping fit and active. She is a qualified physiotherapist and works at Sports Therapy on Collingwood Street in Nelson.

StephSteph Vining is a born and bred Nelsonian who grew up sailing at Nelson Yacht Club. She’s been instructing sailing at the club for 5 seasons and knows the place inside out. She has just spent the winter working in the UK at The Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre in Weymouth – the sailing venue for the 2012 London Olympics. This season she’s our Senior Sailing Instructor, and will be looking after the summer holiday programme at NYC.

Steph sailed Optimists, Laser 4.7 and 420s both in Team Racing and at the fleet racing NZ Nationals. She has also been a regular crew on the sportsboat Geralda the Giant Slayer.


Sam Robinson is our import for this season. His home sailing club West Kirby, near Liverpool in the UK, is regarded as the home of Team Racing in the UK. Sam went through the GBR development programme, sailing Optimists, Cadets and 420s at national and international regattas.

He captained his club to two national youth team racing titles and helped them qualify for the World Championships before becoming too old to compete. The team went on to win the worlds. Sam also captained and coached his uni team at Lancaster University. He has just finished a second season coaching sailing at YMCA Camp Fuller in Rhode Island, USA.

Sam will be looking after the NYC Optimist sailors as well as coaching for NBYTRA.

Nelson Watersports Limited also employs other suitably experienced instructors from time to time. We also look forward to training young windsurfers and sailors towards becoming qualified instructors.