17 August update

Hello Members,

Your Flags have met to discuss the ongoing implications of the alert level 2.

Our immediate priority was to decide whether we could run prizegiving as scheduled on Saturday night. We don’t believe that we can run an event of that scale safely or responsibly, and accordingly have decided to postpone prizegiving until we are back in alert level 1.

We’ll reschedule prizegiving to occur as early as possible. Assuming we’re back in alert level 1, the earliest possible date will be 5 September. We need a little lead time to organise the event, and so you should expect at least week’s notice of the new date.

Thank you to those who booked tables. We’ll hold your booking for now, unless you’d prefer that we refund you. Of course, all bookings will be refunded if prizegiving can’t go ahead.

We’ve also decided to keep the Wardroom close while we’re in alert level 2.

In the meantime, please stay safe, and keep getting your boats and crews ready for an awesome 2020-21 season!

11 May update

Ahoy Sailors!

We’re committed to getting you back on the water as quickly as possible. We’re working on our COVID safety plan, a key part of which will be Contact Tracing. Expect us to set up a way to submit crew lists for each race. YNZ’s guidelines on how to stay safe can be found here. Skippers and crew, please take the time to have a look and familiarise yourself with the requirements.

Something Special

We will be running a Special race on Sunday 24 May 2020 (before the Winter Series), keep an eye out for NTC and details.

The Alexander Turnbull Winter Series

We intend to begin the two-handed and fully crewed series on time.

  • Two-handed Winter Series will now start on Saturday 13 June 2020 (NTC to follow)
  • Fully Crewed Winter Series starts on Sunday 14 June 2020

(Full list of dates here)

Other events

Keep watching for what will happen with the Navy Cup, season prizegiving, and a possible reschedule of the Commodores Trophy (complete with shout). Standby for other club news especially our Social Programme for Winter

Signals Ashore

Signals Ashore will now resume its weekly delivery, ensuring you remain up-to-date with all of the latest club news.

5 May update

While #threedom has meant that we can all get our KFC and Maccas fix again, it has meant relatively few changes to club operations. Our office and Ocean Sports teams have continued to work from home this week, though Jason did come in to oversee the replacement of the main gas feed into the club.

This week we expect the Ocean Sports team to do some maintenance on the Ocean Sports Fleet and Caniwi, and begin a deep clean of the Ocean Sports building. We have a good plan in place to ensure the safety of our team and the public, including distancing, contact tracing, personal hygiene, and surface cleaning.

James, Katie and the Sailing Committee are deep in the process for planning the return to sailing. However, we don’t know what will be allowed under Level 2, and we don’t know how long Level 2 will last, which makes it impossible to commit to a firm plan at this stage.

You can see Yachting New Zealand’s updates on what sailing and boating activities will be permitted under different alert levels here.

Expect an update from James in a week or so with an update on our plans.

Board Update

Following the departure of Connie Rohr last year, Kim Gottard has been co opted onto the RPNYC board of governors. Kim has been a member of RPNYC for a number of years and brings good experience in the sailing world plus a sound business knowledge to the position.

Black and Gold – Wardroom service

The COVID situation has affected many businesses, especially in the hospitality sector.

Black and Gold have advised us they no longer wish to operate the wardroom and functions business on our behalf. While the details are yet to be agreed, we expect to take over management of the Wardroom from 1 June.

To this end we are setting up a working group to help us establish a new bar service. We are finalising the group as we speak but expect it to include Rear Commodore Katie Hakes, Board member Kim Gottard, Club Manager Jason Reid, and other non-Board club members. Black and Gold will also be supporting this group wherever they can.

Expect more details on developments in the next month or so.

We want to thank Black and Gold for all of their hard work over the past five years. We hope to continue working with them, albeit in a different way, in the future. Given the state of the hospitality industry, the next little while will be difficult for them, and we wish them all the best as they work to re-establish their business.


We expect Coenes to re-open when we return to Level 2, with distancing requirements limiting capacity somewhat. Of course, that depends on what the final Level 2 rules look like.

If you haven’t already, follow Coene’s Facebook page for recipes, competitions and updates in the leadup to reopening.


See the notice for this year’s AGM here. At the moment this is going to be on the 24 of June. Of course, this assumes that an in-person AGM will be allowed under the alert level that we’re in on 24 June. We’ll keep that under review and let you know if the date or the format of the AGM needs to change.

You may be aware of the existing Flag Officers’ intention to stand down at this year’s AGM. Given the uncertainty around the COVID situation, and the changes in the Wardroom (see above), we feel that now is the wrong time for wholesale change in the Club’s leadership.

Accordingly, James, Katie and I intend to re-stand for our positions at the upcoming AGM. We hope to receive your support to get the Club back on its feet as we all return to normal following COVID.

9 April update
Its amazing to think that we’re half way through the initial lock down period. I hope that lock down is treating you well, and that you’re not missing being on the water too much.

The Club is operating at reduced capacity, with our office and WOS team’s working from home, and with sailing, social, youth scheme, WOS and function activities all suspended.

Update from the club office

Jason and Marcia are busy preparing the end of year accounts and annual report and will soon be sending out the April membership renewals. They are also working on testing an upgrade to our membership system which will greatly increase our ability to communicate with members. This is been a goal for some time and its great to see this project continuing despite lockdown.

We have approval from MBIE to periodically inspect our buildings and WOS fleet and these checks are being undertaken carefully and with social distancing being maintained.

Update from Wellington Ocean Sports

Craig and the WOS team are taking advantage of their time ashore to refresh WOS’s teaching materials. When he started as Manager Craig noted that he had created some of the teaching materials more than 10 years earlier. While the fact that they were still in use perhaps speaks to their quality they were nonetheless showing their age.

Update from the Sailing Committee

The Sailing Committee is working on what the recovery from lockdown will look like, including the plan for resuming sailing. They are also hard at work on planning for next season’s calendar.

Update from the Board

The Board has focused a lot of time recently on the Club’s financial position and the impact of COVID-19. Prior to COVID we had been forecasting a surplus for the next financial year, but we now expect that to be a substantial deficit. This results mainly from the loss of revenue from WOS activity being suspended, and from the loss of revenue from functions. On the positive side, the Government’s wage subsidy has allowed us to continue to pay our staff despite not operating courses, and will help to minimise the deficit. The deficit will grow for as long as restrictions on our operations continue.

Despite that, the Club remains in a strong financial position, and we’re well placed to weather this storm.

However we’ve been forced to delay the earthquake strengthening project. While the project was fully funded, we are now being forced to draw on our reserves (which were to have helped fund the earthquake strengthening project) to fund the COVID related deficit. Also, the uncertainty about when and our building contractors can operate again makes it impossible to plan the resumption of the project for now. We’re beginning discussion with our external funders to determine whether we can retain the grant funding we have received, but regardless of the answer, we’ll need to resume our fundraising for the project next year.

There are two things you can do to support the club right now.

First, membership invoices will be sent out to many of you in the next day or two. Please pay these on time if you can. Please let us know if COVID has caused you financial difficulty and we’ll do what we can to help with the invoice.

Second, please be kind to one another. Make a point of checking in with your crew mates and fellow members, especially our veteran members.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to support you at the moment, or if you are aware of anyone who needs our support.

24 March update
You’ll no doubt be aware of the Prime Minister’s announcement that we’re moving to alert level 4.

Sadly this means we’ve had to suspend all racing and social activity at the Club, and all Wellington Ocean Sports Centre courses, effective immediately. There will be a number of changes to the services we offer our members as a result.

  • All remaining sailing events this season have been abandoned and will not be re-sailed. We’ll tell you when sailing can resumes, but this wont be before the Winter Series at the very earliest, and may not be until next season.
  • All remaining social events have been cancelled or postponed. Its important to recognise your successes this season, and so we will try to reschedule prizegiving for later in the year. Other events will not be rescheduled.
  • All Wellington Ocean Sports Centre courses have been cancelled with course fees to be refunded. We’ll tell you when courses will resume. Keep an eye out for Wellington Ocean Sports on Facebook, as they’ll be promoting a strong water safety and skills message over the coming weeks.
  • Our weekly newsletter, Signals Ashore, will be sent in a different form over the next few weeks. Rather than focusing on coming events, it will instead focus on telling some of your stories, and telling you more about our generous sponsors.
  • We have closed the Club and Wellington Ocean Sports Centre offices. Jason, Marcia and Craig will be working from home. Their normal contact phone numbers and email addresses still work.
  • Finally, we have closed the Clubhouse, including after-hours access to the bathrooms, as we can’t provide the necessary cleaning service over the coming weeks. Shed users will need to make other arrangements.

The health and safety of our members, visitors, volunteers and staff is our primary concern, and will drive our decision to restart activity.

We understand some of you may be experiencing financial uncertainty; we are happy to discuss flexible ways of continuing to support the club with your membership, just contact Jason.

Now, more than ever, is the time for us to come together as a club. It is really important that we remain in contact and look out for each other.

Please contact one of your flag officers if you have any questions about this notice or about the Club’s response to COVID-19.

Stay safe and healthy, and I’m sure we’ll see you on the water again soon.

19 March update

Over the past couple of days, our friends at the Evans Bay Yacht & Motor Boat Club and Lowry Bay Yacht Club have scaled back their activity in response to the COVID-19 situation.

Lowry Bay has suspended its social activity while continuing to run racing, and Evans Bay has suspended all racing and social activity. We respect and support the decisions they’ve made in the best interests of their members.

For now, we’re prepared to continue both our sailing and social activity. This means that, unless we tell you otherwise:

  • Friday’s Lola Stays Rum Race will run as scheduled,
  • the Wardroom will be open on Friday night, and
  • the Dunning Thornton Brothers Race will run as scheduled.

On Friday 20th March, we’ll be asking all members and visitors to sign in. This will allow us to support contact tracing if necessary, and to help us monitor the number of people in the Wardroom (bearing in mind the prohibition on indoor events with more than 100 people).

Members who are unwell (for any reason) or who have returned to New Zealand from overseas in the past 14 days are asked not to attend.

We are constantly reviewing our position in line with the latest advice from the Ministry of Health and Yachting New Zealand. We’ll update you if our position changes. We’ll also update you next week prior to next Friday’s rum race, Club night, two-handed series, and Alan Martin series.

Please contact one of your flag officers if you have any questions about this notice or about the Club’s response to COVID-19.

Stay safe and healthy. We’ll see you on the water soon.


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