OPINION: Louise Berwick's article of June 14 raises interesting points regarding the failed A2B yacht race.
Two points stand out.
1. The west coast route is regarded by all mariners as hazardous. A lee shore with few safe harbours is a sailor's nightmare.
2. Bluff harbour is not an attractive yachting destination. This is also true, as there are very limited safe berthing options in Bluff for cruising or racing vessels. A significant yacht race always attracts a spectator fleet of cruising vessels.
The lack of facilities in Bluff for cruising vessels in a continuing disgrace.
The NZ Port and Harbours Marine Code of Practice clearly states where responsibility for providing these facilities lies, and it will come as a surprise to many that on this basis there is room for an adult discussion to take place between the three authorities involved, namely Environment Southland, which is the Port Authority and majority owners of SouthPort Ltd, along with the Invercargill City Council, which also has a role to play.
Marine safety requires the provision of suitable facilities, and with a little vision there is a large market of cruising sailors who would visit our region and spend money here, but for the disgraceful continuing neglect of basic obligations by those responsible for our port.
- The Southland Times