Two years ago I had never heard of a Rum Race, let alone a gybe, a jib, a halyard or the many other strange terms used in sailing. But two years ago, four days after retiring, I took the learn to sail course. This was after spending many evenings, over many years, window shopping for a yacht on TradeMe. But never having the time to do anything with one had I bought one. I liked it. Yep I thought there could be some fun to be had sailing, so I joined the Club.
I did a few trips out on Caniwi and a couple of sails with some skippers before meeting Dave Fisher who took me under his wing and taught me the ropes on Lizzie. And there are a lot of ropes on Lizzie. This was my introduction to Friday evening Rum Races and the occasional Saturday Interclub or the At Home Series. I learnt a lot from Dave and from Chris and John, who would occasionally join us.
However, I knew I wanted my own yacht, but did not know exactly what I should buy; a racing yacht, a cruising yacht, a big yacht, a small yacht?? So one week a friend and I set off to Nelson on a boys week of toy shopping. But as many of you are aware, most boats don’t present as well as they are portrayed on TradeMe, so we looked at a lot of dogs. But while there Update can up for sale over in Picton. After a wary and thorough inspection and I bought her on the spot. A good compromise between cruising and racing, and an ideal boat to learn to sail on. I sailed her back to Wellington two weeks later.
Then came the task of getting her ready to race. I teamed up with Phil Taylor and over a couple of months made several alterations and improvements to Update. One of our early outings was the Commodores Trophy – we were more surprised than anyone. Phil has come on board as a mentor and team mate and we have taken on two grads Kevin and Karl. We are occasionally joined by Kath. It’s been bit of a step learning curve for the crew. We have good days out and not so good days, but we are getting better each time and importantly we have fun.
I’ve enjoyed being a member at the club. There is always someone with experience to share and Friday’s race and drink in the bar afterwards is great way to end the week so see you there sometime!