There is a certain feeling, down deep within, when you take the helm after a mighty sailor has been steering the boat through a storm or a rip. I remember it well; as a child I often took the helm our 37fter after dad had taken her through the rip from Karori to Terewhiti. Its not like it’s calmer on the other side, actually it can feel pretty rough at first. Yet there is a rhythm that you learn to move with. Then you lose yourself and you find you’re subconsciously responding to the actions of the wind and sea. (Meanwhile, dad went below and had a nap or made lunch).
That same feeling has risen in me once again. Taking the club’s helm from Dean Stanley, who has superbly led us through a very intrepid time. The sea state, while far less challenging, has unpredictable movements. We’re going to need to work hard to predict, respond and pivot to ensure we remain the successful club we are. I have no doubt we will be tested and need to be on our toes to respond to the changing needs of our environment. So, to that end we have stood up a fabulous General Committee led by very talented Flag officers; Don Christie as Vice Commodore; responsible for all things sailing related and Mandy Evans as Rear Commodore responsible for all House related aspects to running the club. With the continuity of Sarah Bacon and Bob Shaw and our incredible behind the scenes volunteers, we are well positioned to tackle what’s coming – whatever that is, exciting huh?
Like any boat that has a change in helm and crew, there will be a settling in period where things might feel different. Change is like that. My on the water talents lie with making a boat go fast – generally down wind. The best way to do that is to make sure there is ease in the sheet, enough to breath and let the sails, rig and boat do what they're designed to do. I'll take that same approach with the club. (Yes, I'm well aware of what happens when there is too much ease - you can take that analogy to town if you like). And like all boats it takes an entire crew to get it around the course. That’s you; members, family and associates, more than ever before we need people to continue to support, participate and lend a hand where we need it.
I’m looking forward to the upcoming season, and I'm certainly keen to get back on the water! We have several big regattas lined up and a packed racing programme. We have a wonderful facility that needs to be cared for and enjoyed by us and our community.
Remember; be kind and wash your hands...