Life's Better with a Weta!
Designed in New Zealand, over 1200 Wetas have been sold around the world since it was launched with a splash in 2009.
The Weta Story
From garage project to transforming the sailing industry
It all started as a scribble on a school note pad for New Zealander, Roger Kitchen.
After spending hundreds of hours on the water teaching kids to sail in boats that were slow, too small and tricky to sail, Roger thought there must be a better way.
Roger and son Chris, researched around the world for a boat that was simple to teach in but still fast and exciting. No one else seemed to have the answer, so in typical kiwi style they thought, bugger it, we’ll just build one ourselves. So the garage was cleared out and the help of a few experts enlisted (Tim Clissold of TC designs did the original drawings) and 3 years of development, the Weta was launched in 2009.
The Weta trimaran is heralded by many in the industry as a breath of fresh air in the stagnant small boat sailing arena. Weta brings a burst of energy and excitement to sailing clubs, schools and boating families.
Today there are over 1300 Weta trimarans sailing the waters in 24 different countries around the world and the boat has been recognized by winning the Sailing World International Boat of the Year Award in 2010.
“We want Weta to be known as the boat that has transformed the dinghy sailing industry from slow and boring, to fast, easy and exhilarating fun.” Said Roger
Weta in Australia
Australians were one of the earliest adopters of the Weta with the first container of boats arriving in 2009.
Fleets were initially established in the Sydney and Melbourne areas, it took a while for the fleet to become established in Queensland, but now it's the strongest region with the fleets at Lake Cootharaba (near Brisbane) and at Hervey Bay. The South Australian fleet has developed in recent years in Adelaide and similarly at Perth in WA.
In 2017, we shipped a container of boats from Sydney to Auckland to take part in the World Masters Games with 50 boats in the fleet. The Australian team performed well winning multiple age categories.
Colin Bresnahan was one of the original dealers in Melbourne along with Glen Marney in Nowra, NSW - but in 2016, Glenn had to give it up due to a back injury at work and Paul White took over in 2016. Kevin Bates was the original Queensland dealer but passed the batten to Glenn Foley in 2017 who has a long background in the marine industry and has won numerous sailing titles.
After a few false starts, the Australian Weta Class Association (AWCA) was established in 2018 to promote the Weta in Australia and to represent the Class to organisations such as Australian Sailing.
The first National Championships were held at Lake Cootharaba in QLD in 2020 with 27 boats registered but unfortunately participants from outside QLD were prevented from travelling due to Covid restrictions.
We have made some progress to clarify the Weta Yardstick with Australian Sailing but the Weta is still listed in the Catamaran Yardsticks (while patently not a Catamaran) as the performance is similar to planing skiffs - such as the 29er and B14 - rather than the linear acceleration and slow tacking, of typical Cats.
The Weta Map
There are over 1300 Wetas worldwide and over 150 around Australia. Many are listed on the Weta World Map below - if you want your details added, contact firstname.lastname@example.org