Tractor racing is a firm part of the Onetangi Beach Races. Photo Emma Haas

“After the cancellation of the Onetangi Beach Races last year, we are looking to make the 2019 races better than ever,” organisers say.

The date for the classic island event has been set for Sunday 17 February. There will be horse races, kids cart races, tractor races, Segway races, dog races and a Sealegs race.

The ever-popular hospitality tent on the beach is a great way for people to view the races, have lunch provided by Urban Escargot and enjoy a cash bar with local wines. Tickets are $100 per seat or $900 for a table of 10. 

“We’re thrilled to have Sealegs, Fullers, Waiheke Local Board, Gulf News, SeaLink and Downer signed up as sponsors again this year,” say organisers.

The silent auction is a regular at the races, and will once again be held at the tent with auctioneer from Bayleys, Richard Valintine.

The beach races logistics coordinator, Steve Hall, says the timing of the races is dependent on having a low tide around midday to allow the maximum of beach area for racing and sufficient time to set up and pack down on either side of that.

“With the island nearing capacity during summer months, planning ahead has never been more critical for those who want to enjoy the weekend and stay on the island during the races,” he says.

In 2017, more than 125 launches were anchored in Onetangi Bay to view the event put on by the Rotary Club of Waiheke each year. The club “relies on the success of the Onetangi Beach Races and our fundraising events to be able to contribute to the local community,” Steve says.

The aim of the event is thus twofold. One is to provide a fun family day and the other is to fundraise. In 2017, nearly $23,000 was raised.

For more information, see • Emma Haas

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