O’Pen Bic – the NEW EXCITING Junior Class

The O’Pen Bic Junior Skiff is an exciting new class of youth sailing boat that is taking the country (and the world) by storm. With a name about as big as it gets in NZ yachting – Sir Russell Coutts – lending his support to the class, it looks to have a great future.

“The Open Bic is a fantastic boat for young sailors to experience the joy of sailing. It is fast, exciting and fun to sail yet simple to rig and maintain. Many of the skills learnt in the Bic will be easily transferred to other boats as sailors evolve and progress onto other forms of sailing.“

– Sir Russell Coutts

The hull is 6ft long, with a totally open and self-draining transom. The skiff shape means for fast exciting fun on all points of sail. The ideal user weight is 30 – 65kg, but the boat is rated up to 90kg! It is easy to put on top of a car to transport and the windsurf sail style rig can be set up easily, with the boat ready to launch in minutes!

Where can I buy one of these awesome boats!?

Whilst second-hand boats are like hens teeth, Nelson Watersports retails the new boats for $5019 including the Foil Bag (strongly recommended).

For more information or to enquire about availability, get in touch on 02102503767 or info@nelsonwatersports.co.nz

We also have ex-charter boats available from time to time. The current ex-charter boat is $4000 including the foil bag.

How does it fit into the Class Progression at Nelson Yacht Club?

Over recent years, across NZ many developing young sailors would cut their teeth in the big competitive fleets of the Optimist, and then many sailors would also start sailing and campaigning in the P Class as a transition class before moving on to the Starling and then Laser Radial/420s/29ers etc…

The O’Pen Bic looks to be a growing class that fits in the same space as the P Class. Moreover, the exciting/unique regatta format includes ‘adventure sails’ and fancy dress races, low cost charters, and a more South Island focus. More information on the events and class support in NZ can be found here: http://openbic.org.nz/

No one foresees the O’Pen Bic replacing any of the active racing classes at the club, instead it provides an additional option for multi-class sailing and the transition from the Optimist onwards.

For those kids who haven’t developed an interest in racing and find the club plastic Optimists a bit slow and boring, the sheer fun of sailing something like the O’Pen Bic could well be the thing that keeps them sailing. So, we hope that the class will add to the overall number of active sailors at NYC.