Volunteer of the year 2019/2020: Bob McVeagh


The Volunteer of the Year Award is awarded to the many dedicated RPNYC volunteers that without each and every one of these dedicated members, our club activities would not survive.

Attributes of generosity, humility, just getting on with it without fuss or fanfare are typical attributes of volunteers who support our club and are passionate to ensure its success. The Volunteer of the Year Award is given each year to a volunteer who shows these attributes and makes a significant contribution to the running of our club. Every year, it is very difficult to choose a person to award this trophy to as all volunteers deserve our sincerest thanks and our accolades.

This year the award went to Bob McVeagh.

Bob comes from a long line of sailors, perhaps the best known of the past is Geoff Inns, an uncle who during the 1930s owned a share in the Nanette with Jack Maddever – a vessel of great renown. Geoff lost his life in a Japanese POW camp during WWII, as did many local yachtsmen who volunteered for the Royal Navy Reserve which patrolled waters in South East Asia and were left on their own in the confusion that followed the fall of Singapore.

Bob built several boats as a youngster and raced them locally, and ultimately owned the lovely 13 metre Simpson-design Montego Bay III. She was a regular sight on the start line of harbour and offshore races.

A continuous member since 1988, Bob is often around the marina: the Wellington Classic Yacht Trust has been the recipient of some very nice bits and pieces found during one of his rummages at home or in the shed. He can often be seen on board Caniwi during race days; or lurking around the Clubhouse with a paintbrush in his hand.

The below was submitted by Vesna Wells in appreciation of Bob:

The recipient of the 2019/2020 season’s award helped Tony and Vesna when they had bought Clear Vision get started in racing. They had bought a boat and were too frightened to go out in it – even on the calmest day with a few little white caps Bob took Tony and Vesna under his wing and taught them how to race in a Summer series; quite brave we thought. In fact, Vesna was on the bow and her job was to cut for a spinnaker drop. She had only ever watched America’s Cup racing so let the whole halyard go. I still think it is the only time she has heard this person swear!

It is people like Bob that make the club what it is and what we all want it to be. He regularly volunteers for race management and taking out Caniwi. He does all of this without any fuss or fan fare – doesn’t need to be asked to “step up” – he just does.

Tony and Vesna are forever grateful personally as without this person they would not have ever raced – they bought a boat to go cruising in the Sounds. The 2019/2020 seasons recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award is Bob McVeagh.

Well done Bob we are forever grateful to you.


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