History of SCI

Sailing Cook Islands (SCI) was first established in 1995 as Cook Islands Yachting Federation. Sir Thomas Davis KBE was the first President of the Federation bringing his experience & huge enthusiasm for the sport of sailing and love for competitive sailing.

Sir Thomas has a long and colourful sailing history first sailing as a young man from his home village of Avatiu as a 10 year out into the ocean alone in a hand carved dugout canoe felled from a nearby tree. His ocean sailing started in unrest in 1952 when he left New Zealand aboard the ketch with Neil Arrow and Graham Smout sailing to North America. Sir Thomas was to remain in the USA for 2 decades before returning home as a decorated US Space Scientist. He continued his love of sailing and building boats becoming a boat builder of reputation and sailing skills.

Sir Thomas launched his 72 ft Voyaging Vaka he designed and built in the Takuvaine valley. The designs were based upon Polynesian traditional knowledge, and the stories handed down by our ancestors about their voyaging & navigation throughout the oceans of the Pacific. Te Au O Tonga was launched on Saturday the 12th March 1992 being carried out of the mists of Takuvaine at sunrise and carried to the Avarua Harbour for its launch ceremony. Teau O Tonga is today sailing in the Aitutaki lagoon and has voyaged some 250,000 kilometers across the Pacific Oceans in her 20 years of sailing.

Founding Members of Sailing Cook Islands were the Aitutaki Sailing Club, Avarua Cruising Club, Cook Islands Voyaging Society, Manihiki Sailing Club, Rarotonga Sailing Club and about 20 individuals who promoted the establishment of the National Sailing Federation in the Cook Islands. In 2002 the Federation changed its name to Sailing Cook Islands in line with the change of the International Federation adopting the Name International Sailing Federation (ISAF)

Today the Sailing Cook Islands members are the Sailing clubs and National Class Associations (NCA’s) registered in the Cook Islands.

The member clubs are:

  • Aitutaki Sailing Club
  • Cook Islands Yacht Squadron
  • Mangaia Sailing Club
  • Manihiki Sailing Club
  • Mitiaro Sailing Club
  • Palmerston Sailing Club
  • Penrhyn Sailing Club
  • Pukapuka Sailing Club
  • Rakahanga Sailing Club
  • Rarotonga Sailing Club

Our National Class Associations are:

  • Board & Kite Surfing Class Association
  • Double Handed Class Association
  • Hobiecat Class Association
  • Laser Class Association
  • Ocean Voyaging Class Association
  • Optimist Class Association
  • Radio Controlled Class Association
  • Tangaroa Class Association
  • Teams & Match Racing Class Association

Sir Thomas spent much of his time with the National Federation in encouraging the establishment of youth sailing, learn to sail programs, Sailing in Schools and the building of wooden Optimist boats. The first fleets in Rarotonga and Aitutaki were inspired by Sir Thomas’s enthusiasm for the sport he loved and cherished.

In 1996 Sir Thomas led the first Sailing Cook Islands Olympic team to Atlanta, USA for the Olympic Games sailing at Savannah. His Sailor Turia Vogel, of Matavera, Rarotonga has qualified her country by competing at the World Boardsailing Championships in 1994 and 1995 becoming our first qualified athlete and world ranked sailor at 23rd place in the world at the time she completed at the 1996 Olympic Games. Turia carried on to Sail at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 again representing the Cook Islands in the Mistral Board class.