Coming up this Sunday the 24th February is one of Waiheke Island’s most iconic events, the annual Onetangi Beach Races.
It’s a popular day for both locals and visitors to the island; the event is free to attend, provides good entertainment and a great day out for the family.
The Onetangi Beach Races have been a carnival event on Waiheke, held on and off for over a hundred years. The event is presently organized by Onetangi Beach Races Incorporated who is a society organized and operated by members of Waiheke Rotary Club. Funds raised from the Beach Races are distributed by Rotary back into the community. Last year over 30 local charities, good causes, clubs, individuals, Westpac and St John benefited directly as a result of money raised at the event.
The race line-up this year looks to be as exciting as ever. Along with the horse races are the tractor race, the wheelbarrow race, the waiter’s race and the popular Sealegs races.
Other events of the day include a Mad Hatters Tea Party, Sandcastle competition, and The Big Dig for the children, as well as Tug-of-War and Fashion-in-the-Field.
Other attractions are the silent auctions, wheelbarrow raffles, food and market stalls.
The Beach Races is run on an Equalisator Betting system; so make sure you buy a race pack to be in to win. These cost $25 and contain tickets for all tote races, the day’s programme, and a chance to win $1000. Race packs can be bought on the day at the Tote Tent.
Immediately prior to the start of each race a draw will be made to determine the riders number. Your race ticket number will equate with a rider number, hopefully the winning one. Dividends will be paid to 1st place winners only, and can be collected from the Tote Tent.
10am: Tote opens and bidding on the silent auction begins
10.30am: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in front of the Dunes ~ children bring a hat you have made
(Registration is at 10am, judging commences at 10.30am and tea and prizes are at 11.00am followed by the parade at 11.45am)
11am: The Breeze Tug-of-War
(teams must register at registration tent by 10.45am)
Noon: Sandcastle and sandworks competition begins for all ages
Noon-3pm: Races include various tractor and horse events, Sealegs, SeaLink Onetangi Cup, wheelbarrow, waiters, waitresses, women, men, girls, boys and egg and spoon.
3pm: The Big Dig open to under-10s
3.30pm: Fashion in the Field at Salt
3.30pm: Tote closes
4pm: Silent auction closes and the wheelbarrow raffles are drawn
5pm: Beach races close