Message from the HYC Commodore

Wise words for December 2017 from Trevor Higgins HYC commodore

As 2017 draws to a close and the golden weather of December seems destined to extend on into January, it seems easier to look forward than back.  Certainly the Hauraki Gulf beckons as I write this.

This year has had all the appearances of treading water while waiting for something to happen. The Hobsonville Point Marine Sports Recreation Centre Trust has had a roller coaster journey of highs and lows, and, while not much seems to have happened, behind the scenes there has been action aplenty, culminating in a meeting, chaired by Paula Bennett, to try and get things moving along at a suitable pace. The physical changes around the landing are there for all to see, including the removal of the grid and pontoon, just one more reminder of our impending move. Although our short and long term locations are still up in the air there seems to be lots of support to try and make it happen. Huge thanks go to Greg, Stuart and Andrew for their efforts as our reps.

For the club itself, the AGM rang in some changes and some familiar faces decided to step back and take a well earned rest. They were replaced  by new but equally enthusiastic people. To anyone who thinks that it’s easy keeping things running as smoothly as it seems to, in reality it’s  the result of dedication and hard work by a small group of people. 

The fact that you are reading this is because of the time put in by Samatha to keeping our website and Facebook up to date and always worth a look. It is also the result of her, sometimes,  gentle persuasion that we all need to contribute for it to be successful. I’m sure  its often a thankless task given that as writers we all make good sailors. If you have photos or stories to share I know she always welcomes them.

Sailing, both senior and junior, is well served by the folk who give up their time and inject energy and enthusiasm in enormous quantities to keep things running and growing. The juniors in particular have gone ahead in leaps and bounds and this shows no sign of changing in 2018. 

And after a hard or not so hard days  sailing we have a well stocked and well run bar to come back to and tell our tales of derring-do and hardship. That does not happen by chance.  It is all thanks to a small group of people and part of what makes us the club we are and would like to continue to be.  I want to thank all of those people who have made it work yet again in 2017.

Finally a plea as we head into what promises to be a fantastic summer, be safe in what you do and if you have the opportunity to take a novice or child sailing for the very first time be mindful that one bad experience can scare that person away from an activity you love. As much as is possible do things in their comfort zone, help them to participate as much as they want, explain what is happening and above all share your enthusiasm and help them see the joy that is being on the water.



Commodore's musings - April 2017

As we wind down to the end of the summer series, there are a couple of events still to  look forward to before we head into another keenly contested winter series, Closing day and Prize Giving.  

Even if you haven't been racing regularly during the past few months, closing day is a wonderful opportunity to blow out the cobwebs, check the gear is all working before winter and enjoy some quality time on the water before the last of the warm weather is gone. 

Closing day at Hobsonville was in the distant past, when we were strong on dinghies and short on keelers, an epic race around Kauri Point and down to Rona buoy. It was raced as a Mark Foy race  and produced some interesting results. For one year light wind and a outgoing tide meant rather than a race around home it was more a case of trying to be the last boat carried backwards under the bridge. Another year the opposite applied and no wind at the start and an incoming tide kept everyone at the start until the skipper of the last starter having  finished a soothing beer, strolled down to his boat where upon the wind filled in and the rest of the fleet finally crossed the start line.

For many it was the last chance to avoid winning the dreaded turtle trophy. Awarded to the crew who had sailed the most races for the least reward it is a trophy with the names of many good (but unlucky that year) sailors. Given it was the last chance to win  trophy the closing day is always well attended. Closing day is April 28th.

Prize giving will be later in May, and I encourage as many members as possible to come if they can.  Our time in the current building is drawing to an end and this could very well be the last prize giving there. Let's  take the chance make it one to remember!

Happy sailing everyone.


Musings from the HYC commodore Trevor Higgins - December 11th 2016

The second race of the Golden Rivit was raced last week and I had the pleasure of racing on Bluebeat. It was the type of day that has broken the heart of many a sailor. Light breeze and strong outgoing tide combining to make it a long day for many. Congratulations to all our competitors for hanging in there all the way to the end and well done on winning and squaring up the series with a race to come. It was our day but there was plenty to suggest that the last race could be a tight one .

I came across this blog on the Royal Akarana Yacht club this week that parallels the situation we find ourselves in and the future that hopefully awaits us. I had the pleasure of chatting to the vice commodore of that club about the changes they are going through. As we stood on the balcony of their temporary clubhouse 70 to 100 people were active on the water below and it was a Thursday night! Junior sailing, waka paddlers and standup paddlers made a colourful sight and were, he told me, the future for their club. We have a rapidly growing population on our doorstep. What are they looking for from a local yacht club?

Message from HYC Commodore Trevor Higgins, 21st November 2016

One of the attractions of racing at Hobsonville is that boats of different sizes, shapes, and speeds crewed by people of different experience, knowledge and skill can sail against each other with the chance of winning.

Typically all goes well until this mix is forced into a confined space like a start line or mark rounding. At that point the variety of boats and crews can be put to the test. Normally it is a test of nerve, knowledge of the rules and sense of humour.  Typically shouting happens, with boats claiming right of way, rightly or wrongly and everybody gets out of each other's way after a few more shouts and perhaps the odd threat to protest and the occasional waving of a flag. We then argue about it later in the bar or more rarely in the protest room.

In the past few months however we have had boats damaged in collisions during our races and that is not what we want happening. No one wants their boat damaged and out of action. That is not why we race and the rules we race under specifically prohibit it.

We are holding a rules evening on Dec 2 so come along and be better informed for the rest of the season. 

But more than that, please if you are racing in the coming months, be aware of your limitations, your boat's limitations and just how experienced the crews or manoeuvrable the boats are around you. Better to lose a couple of boat lengths than have your boat damaged . Being in the right is small consolation.

Message from HYC Commodore Trevor Higgins September 2016

Deb and I are having a fantastic time checking out the coastal playgrounds of Italy. Given my status as commodore of a major New Zealand yacht club we have been given the use of a yacht, tender and seaside villa. See the attached photo.

Actually, while it is fun to see how the other half lives and Italy is an exciting place  to holiday and there are many many things to appeal ( great transport system,  dinner at 11 pm after an afternoon nap) I am also reminded of the many things that we have at home. Near empty SANDY beaches, uncrowded anchorages, clean water and the prospect of a long fine summer. I'm enjoying every moment while I'm here. It's the trip of a life time but when you live in paradise going home is no great hardship.


Message from HYC's new Commodore Trevor Higgins -August 2016

We had the first committee meeting since the AGM on Tuesday 9th August and I was struck by how enthusiastic, knowledgable and skilled the people running our club are.  Some of them like me have been part of yachting at Hobsonville for many years while others are newer on the scene. What they all share is a desire to be part of a successful, well run club that our members enjoy coming to and being part of.

We have an exciting time ahead of us with a new building to be built, a strong junior programme and an ever growing source of new members in the expanding suburb of Hobsonville Point. A  few more boats on the water, some friendlier weather and plenty to look forward to. A great summer beckons.
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