Sail Nelson wins accolade
A Nelson sailing school which has grown to become a cultural tourism attraction is once more top of its class.
Sail Nelson, owned and operated by John and Woodi Moore, has been named the Royal Yachting Association's [RYA] New Zealand Sailing School of the Year 2014.
The couple were presented with the award by Richard Falk, British-based training manager of the RYA and Neil Murray, head of RYA New Zealand, at the RYA forum held at Coastguard Boating in Auckland's Westhaven Marina at the weekend.
Sail Nelson won the award when it was last presented in 2010.
Falk described the Moores as the "perfect team" with one operating sailing and vessel management, the other onshore keeping the bookings coming in.
"Their business success is down to their teamwork," he said.
Woodi Moore said they were "chuffed" to get the award. She put their repeated success down to precise planning and management of what is a complex job fitting in individuals' requirements around the single keeler yacht they operated.
The business attracts students from around the world. The couple also use their waterfront B&B, Wakefield Quay House as a venue for drinks and presenting certificates at the end of each course.
"I'm proactive when people approach us wanting to book a course at the school. We get a lot of individuals who approach us and I work really hard at jiggling courses and people to suit," Woodi Moore said.
Sail Nelson operates RYA-approved courses in starting out sailing, a competent crew course [needed by even experienced sailors thinking of chartering a yacht in many European countries], day skipper, coastal skipper and yacht master courses.
John Moore comes from a family with a strong sailing heritage in Nelson and has sailed all his life. At 19 he was the country's youngest ever certified deep sea skipper. He spent 12 years as a senior tutor of navigation and seamanship at the New Zealand School of Fisheries at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. He is a practising Maritime New Zealand examiner and an accredited RYA instructor.
He said Sail Nelson's success was also because it had found dedicated and knowledgeable sailing instructors from around the world who had helped operate the courses, plus the many specialist marine businesses at Port Nelson which helped "keep our boat out on the water".
Woodi Moore said business had picked up over the past three years, mainly via the company's website and by word of mouth.
She said packages offered by the sailing course had veered into a cultural tourism category, and appealed to people who wanted to "get away and see a different place, and learn something at the same time".
The Nelson Mail