What a difference a year makes…
Opening day 2018 at Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club was a very different experience to 2019 for me. In October 2018 I had just spent 13 weeks over winter, with my co-owner Rob, refurbishing Saucy Sausage. We turned up on at the first opening day at Lowry Bay and promptly blew the main block forcing us to withdraw. The next weekend, 13th October 2018, at Port Nic came around with the pressure on. I turned up, nervously waiting for the race to get underway, with one simple goal; finish the race! Saucy Sausage was welcomed back to the Club on that day with a gift of rum. I don’t remember much of that day; some speeches; the Club burgee going up upside-down; and that we finished the race and haven’t looked back since.
Fast forward one year and there are a few differences, for the boat and for me. Saucy finished as boat of the year and somewhere during the year I agreed to be nominated for Vice Commodore. Being VC for opening day was its own brand of pressure, especially given the immense effort and planning (not just from me) that had gone into getting prepped for the season. Extra trepidation came from waiting on a brand-new set of sails. At 0930hrs 21st September 2019, opening day morning, I was waiting for my J1 to arrive from Linton Sails (I shouldn’t have worried it turned up with plenty of time to spare).
Opening day is already fading into a bit of a blur in my mind. I recall polishing my shoes and putting on the Commodores Jacket by mistake; changing into my own jacket; welcoming guests and friends; a packed room; a beautiful sunny day; new sails; just enough wind to finish a race; a fantastic special guest talk; just getting the results done in time; a presentation; racing banter; a few beers; and sleep.
Massive thanks to all who made it a fantastic day; committees, volunteers, guests, members, photographers. Oh and did I mention…I messed up the burgee too!
James – your VC