I have been a member at Naval Point Club Lyttelton for about 15 years now. I spent a couple of years as the Rear Commodore for Keelboats and I have always helped out running the crew list, maintaining the club Facebook page and helping organise social events.
This time last year, our long standing club manager Ken, sadly suddenly passed away. He was a huge part of the club and after he was gone, we all appreciated how much he did to keep things running smoothly.
Things have been a bit complicated since then, but recently I offered to help out keeping on top of the club administration. ‘Sure’ I said! No problem at all!
I thought I had a reasonable idea of what goes on at the club. In the past, I pretty much turned up in the car park, signed in for the race, and then headed out sailing. I would come back in after racing and have a few drinks.
So recently, instead of sailing, I have been doing bank reconciliations, typing newsletters, replying to emails and ordering beer for the bar.
I was totally absorbed in the keelboat racing and have now realised that I had no appreciation of everything else that goes on! With over 1000 members, there is a lot happening. So today for example there were keelboats, trailer yachts, optimists, 420’s, Lasers, Zephyrs, paddle boards, windsurfers, waka’s and rescue boats all going up and down the launching ramp. There were sailors entering races, volunteers looking for boats, race officers discussing which flag was which, coaches looking for VHF radios, bar staff looking for 50c coins, the phone ringing, the kitchen staff delivering volunteer lunches, someone wanting to hire the venue for a party, the start boat had a rope around it’s propellor, someone had parked their boat in the wrong shed, there were race officers processing results, skippers lodging protests, people wanting photos uploaded to Facebook. There were sausages looking for a BBQ, thirsty sailors looking for drinks and then there was me.
trying to reconcile the bank statement…
And attempting to sound like I knew the answers to everyone’s questions.
So in amongst all that, I did manage to capture some footage of everything going on around the club. And once they were all out sailing, things got quiet again and I managed to finally get some work done.
I now have a much better appreciation now for all the things that happen in the background to make things run smoothly for sailors who are out on the water. All the volunteers who are involved taking care of all the different groups. The other people who make sure that the rescue boats have fuel in them, and that the tractor to launch them works, the staff who turn up to run the bar and kitchen, the cleaner who comes to tidy up the next day, the overall co-ordination of all those people, producing sailing instructions and printing out the weather forecast, the effort involved in ordering the beer and accounting for the money that comes through the bank account from all the various club activities. Phew!
It’s all good!
So the next time you are at a yacht club. Take a bit of time to think about all the hard working people, many of whom are volunteers, who give up their time to make your day out sailing more enjoyable. Those guys rock!!