Sailing Reflections and Forecasts


Reflections from the VC on last season and a look to the season ahead

So we went sailing! Firstly, in reflecting on sailing at the club over the last year I wanted to highlight some of the things which we did differently; some of the struggles; some of the successes and some of what we intend going forward.

The programme of racing for the year was set down to have a little bit of something for everyone.  We intentionally put a specific flavour to each of the series throughout the year to try and differentiate them.  We kept fleet racing and divisional racing; we promoted interclub and special races to increase the opportunities for boats from other clubs to visit and race; we had races that were free; we had all the usual favourites.  Although the season was interrupted by an inconvenient virus, in all we still ran 10 distinct Series and a multitude of other individual races. When we get to Prizegiving, which we still intend to hold, we will have plenty of silverware including Divisional and Fleet Championships to award.

Regatta PosterThe Regatta was moved to March for a change.  We had 3 fantastic days of racing across 4 divisions which included the usual high drama of regattas with good calls, bad calls, close calls, protests, collisions and glory moments.  I’m glad to say I was only involved in some of that list.

I need to acknowledge the huge amount of hard work behind the scenes, across the season, by your Sailing Committee; Regatta Organisers; a tireless group of volunteer race officers, Caniwi Drivers and race assistants, without any of whom racing would be impossible. In particular I would like to recognise the contribution of your Sailing Secretary, Kate Beckett, who has been the go to person for all things racing, and now steps down from that role.

If you will indulge me in a few more reflections and a couple of mentions, then on to the future. Firstly to the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club Boats or members who competed in the SSANZ Round the North Island; Blink – with Tony Wells and Craig Shearer onboard ; The Guarantee – with Geoff Herd and Phil Gurnsey; and Satellite Spy with Matt Kerr and Craig Smith. Secondly to all those skippers who put the time and effort into getting a crew together, getting there entries in and getting their boat out on the water.  Specifically, I would like to mention, long time club member, Dave Hastings and his boat Sasquatch.  From getting the boat off the mooring and sailing the occasional Rum Race at the start of the season they progressed into some Fleet Racing and then competing in the Regatta.  We all need to encourage those we know with boats festering in a berth or on a mooring to dip their toes into our racing programme.

Airship and PN1I will not dwell further on a season cut short by a pandemic, enforced lock down and boat separation anxiety, I want to look forward, so what can you expect? You can expect to be called upon to volunteer around the club, to assist with racing, to help with preparations for events, to share the load of your fellow volunteers and keep the burden manageable. You can expect, we will continue to offer racing of all different types but we rely on you, our members to help run it, and to turn up on the start line.

We have heard the feedback on racing throughout the year and the draft 2020/21 calendar.  Thank you to those who have been constructive and positive.   Of note, a posse, of offshore skippers approached us with a bold proposal to reinvigorate the Offshore Programme.  This is a perfect example of our members stepping up and taking control and we were only too happy to accommodate them. In the Inshore space, whilst we continue to value our connection with the other yacht clubs around the harbour, our Interclub Series will be reduced to the Opening Day races for each club.  The Regatta is back to February; rum racing will continue; we retain the popular two-handed series; championships are still there to be won; and we still celebrate significant occasions & connections with Special Races.  In short – something for everyone. So see you on the water.

(taken from VC Message for AGM – June 2020)



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