Far North news in brief: Sailing Week; moth plant warning and Blood Service in town

The all-female team from the Whangārei Cruising Club battled adverse conditions in last year’s Bay of Islands Sailing Week regatta on their boat, Rum Jungle. They’ll be hoping for more luck with the regatta on again this week.

Sailing week

The 21st Bay of Islands Sailing Week runs from today to Friday, with up to 100 boats expected. Sailing week has become a highlight of the sailing calendar for New Zealand sailors and a growing number of internationals from Australia and around the Pacific. Regatta headquarters is the Ōpua Cruising Club and there are three race courses – the outer course for A, B and M divisions, middle course for C, E, Sports Boats and Young 88 divisions and the Island Racing course, which all boats will sail. This year a division for women has been introduced, with two trophies, one for the top female helm and one for the island racing division. The trophies are sponsored by Yachting New Zealand as part of their SheSails NZ initiative to promote women and girls in sailing. The glamour segment is the A and B divisions. It has the largest boats (12m to 15m) and arguably the most serious racers since they have big crews, some of whom are professional sailors. For more info go to https://bayofislandssailingweek.org.nz/

Moth plant warning

Conservationists are warning that moth plant vine is flowering across Northland and can smother native plants. Left unchecked, the plant can take over forest canopies. Pulling it out now before each flower develops into a pod containing around 750 windblown seeds can save work and forests. The milky white sap of this plant can irritate eyes and skin so be careful when removing.

Blood Service in town

The NZ Blood Service will be in the Far North in March hoping to collect plenty of life-saving blood from donors in the region. On average, around 180 units of blood and blood products are used each week in Northland and the Blood Service is always on the look out for new donors. You can give blood in Kerikeri, at the Turner Centre, on Monday, March 4, from 1pm-6pm and Tuesday, March 5, from 12pm-6pm. Then, in Kaitaia at Te Ahu, on Wednesday, March 6, from 12pm-6pm and Thursday, March 7 from 8.30am-2.30pm. The final collection of the week will be in Kaikohe, at the Kaikohe War Memorial Hall, on Friday, March 8, from 8.30am-12.30pm. For more details, including how you can donate blood, go to www.nzblood.co.nz.

Double Lotto luck

Two tickets sold in Northland were among 25 nationally that each won more than $12,000 with Lotto Second Division on Saturday. Both tickets, sold on MyLotto in the region, won their holders $12,425. The winning Lotto numbers were 3, 17, 18, 21, 23 and 33, with the bonus number 9 and Powerball number 7. The strike number were 23, 33, 18 and 21. Powerball was not struck on Saturday and will be worth $15 million on Wednesday.

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