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Home / Newsletters / Newsletter - April 2023
Home / Newsletters / Newsletter - April 2023

Newsletter - April 2023


Well, no one can deny it's been an interesting start to the 23 year, on a personal note we've had washed away bridges, trees blown down snapping power poles, damaging buildings and extensive power and communication outages.

In addition, we all face increased costs across pretty much all avenues in our lives, including food, rent and mortgages.


So, I wrote a poem for us, (and my profound advance apologies to the literary scholars amongst you)

So down to the sea I go

when I'm feeling low,

The waves and the wind help me forget

all the worries that weigh me down so

On my boat, I find peace and a reset.

The sails fill up with breeze so light

as I steer my vessel along

my worries grow smaller out of sight

on the sea as I find where I belong.

The gentle rocking of the boat

lulls me to a peaceful state

As I watch the water and let go

of the troubles that I can't escape.

So to the sea I go and sail away

and forget about this world for a day.


From your club's perspective, we're off to a great start this year.

We've had a fantastic AYBA and Evolution Sails sponsored WOWW weekend with well over a hundred ladies out sailing and racing over a long weekend, many new faces and fresh newbie sailors enjoying their experience.

Our club's kitchen has had a major refurbishment (a big thank you to all involved),

club membership numbers are up 16% on the same period as last year, and our finances are looking good. An altogether very "satisfaction" result.

In addition, we've managed to complete four summer race series despite inclement weather, and we look forward to the annual summer prize giving on Saturday 20th May, more details to come.

Another big thank you to our sailing committee, hard at work nutting out the winter season calendar, please remember to be vocal to them to ensure we are delivering the club as you want it to be.

As we take a short break between seasonal racing, please remember to support your club through the various other activities available to you as members and encourage the others around you to keep involved.

It's all there on our website

May the sun be on your face and the wind on your back,

Phil Shaw

Commodore GHYC

Evolution Sails Women on Water Weekend

The club was buzzing on the weekend of 10-12 March when approximately 120 women, many of whom were new to sailing, took to the water on the 18 boats participating in our inaugural Women on Water Weekend (WOWW).

At registration on Friday morning there was an air of excitement and anticipation as many crew members, boat owners and helmswomen met for the first time. With a fairly brisk wind blowing the planned landing on Tiritiri Matangi was out of the question so boat owners and skippers were given flexibility as to how they ran the afternoon training sail. A few headed to Long Bay where they enjoyed lunch and a swim, others opted to eat lunch first and then head out for a familiarization sail. Each boat had been given nibbles and wine, so many of the crew enjoyed getting to know each other back at the marina.

A Build a Burger Buffet was offered on Friday night and proved to be very popular.

Saturday began with a full breakfast at the club followed by a briefing. Once again, the wind was fairly fresh as four race management/safety boats headed out, under the control of RO Megan Kensington. The first race of the day was a pursuit race, similar to those the club runs for the winter cruising races. The boats, racing in two divisions of extras and non-extras, self-started between Kotanui Island and the GHM port hand entrance mark then sailed to the Gulf Harbour yellow buoy, northern Long Bay mark and finished just off the marina entrance. Two triangular courses were then sailed and Suellen from LiveSailDie took some great photos from onboard Phil & Lynelle Wilson's motor-launch with patron Alan Wright giving a commentary on the racing. After an exhilarating day on the water results were announced and day prizes awarded in a relaxed atmosphere back on the club deck.

The social highlight of the weekend was the Saturday night dinner dance with one of Lisa's fantastic buffet meals followed by a disco. DJ Nathaniel provided great music and attendees danced the night away, well almost, as many disappeared by about 10:30 p.m. after such a strenuous day out on the water.

Breakfast was on offer again on Sunday morning and the wind had eased to about 10 knots with the sun shining. Two windward/leeward races took place and everyone then returned to the club for prizegiving.

Planet X skippered by Karleen Dixon was first overall in the extras division. Fez skippered by Justine Bellingham was second, followed by Patrician skippered by Wendy Muir. In the non-extras division Rene Chance skippered by Amanda Wilson was first, followed by Linda Parish on Toyshop and Kelly Mulcahy on C McGuire.

All participants received a rose courtesy of Raewin Kelly from Flowers on the Hilltop and most people went home with a spot prize as well.

Feedback has been extremely positive and we are very grateful to our sponsors: Gold Sponsor - Evolution Sails; Silver Sponsors - Auckland Yacht and Boating Association, Chains, Ropes and Anchors, Burnsco, Telos Group Real Estate and Gulf Harbour Marina; Bronze Sponsors Hibiscus Marine Coatings, Live, Sail, Die and Predict Wind.

We are also most appreciative of the support given by club members. A huge thank you to those of you who lent boats, assisted with race management and helped off the water.

Next year's WOWW will take place between 8th and 10th March 2024 and we look forward to the event being bigger and better.

See some great regatta pictures in our photo library:

Clean Green Club

GHYC has been awarded their first star by Yachting NZ as a Clean Green Club and we are well on our way towards achieving our 2nd star.

The Women on Water Weekend was registered with Sailors for the Sea as a clean event. We focused on elimination of single use items and responsible waste management. Entries were online, so paperless, individual lunches were served in recyclable boxes and each boat's lunches were put into a reuseable hessian bag. Each boat was provided with a compostable rubbish bag and skippers were encouraged to return all rubbish to Gulf Harbour Yacht Club for recycling. The club hired a water refill station for the event to eliminate the use of single use water bottles.

Since November the club has been involved in the Hibiscus Coast Zero Waste Scheme 'City to Farm" (C2F). Initially we used bokashi compost buckets for food scraps, but due to the amount of food waste we have been recycling we have now moved to using wheelie bins. At the bottom of the bins there is woody mulch which keeps food scraps out of the liquid that forms and keeps the bokashi fermentation process alive. Each day's scraps are then sprinkled with bokashi 'zing' and pressed down before sealing the lid. The compost is collected by City to Farm and taken to farms where it is put into swale drains to improve soil quality. If you would like to learn more about C2F go to

Sailing Committee Corner

Summer Series

All over now. A summer of two parts. We had great racing and cruising interspersed with more than our fair share of storms. A big "thank you" to everyone who took part in the summer programmes

Highlight of Summer had to be the WOWW Regatta hosted by GHYC which was a resounding success.

Summer Prize Giving will be Saturday 20th May prize giving /dinner buffet/music. Please note in your calendars and make it a great social occasion at the club.

Winter Series Join the Fun

Notices of race are in preparation.

The Winter Racing Series first race is Sunday May 28th .

The Winter Cruising (Pursuit) Series first race is Saturday 3rd June.

The full schedule of races is on the website under Documents, Sailing Calendar 2022-23

Both these series are very popular amongst members the racing series is an opportunity to enjoy competitive and social racing all in the one series, with results and day prizes at either GHYC or WBC (alternating)

The cruising series has proven so popular in its pursuit format that a 5th race has been added this year. The bar will be open and everyone is invited to bring a plate or order a bacon buttie from the BBQ crew

We look forward to seeing you out there over winter.

John Bruce

Sailing Committee Chair


This year started with great ideas and plans for events at the club, the beach and on the water but sadly, like many holiday plans, all the outside events were cancelled due to unfavourable weather conditions. They included the 'Club Day Out 'on the water, where boaties take non boaties for a cruise around the bay, picnic lunch afloat and a swim, and the family 'Picnic in the Park' at Shakespear Park with games for everyone and the club laying on a sausage sizzle

However we have had some great events at the club, such as the very colourful Island Night, socialising at the WOWW weekend, and more recently the annual Petanque Competition, playing for the Brian Holgate Memorial Trophy. Our monthly Quiz Nights are back after the summer break, some members electing to make up a team of 6-8 in advance whilst others prefer to take pot-luck on team mates by joining together on the night.

Jean Holgate presents Easter Eggs to the Petanque competition winners, Jude Ellegard & Spencer Matthews.

We consider the club very lucky to have Lisa the chef who does a great job in the kitchen and puts on some fantastic buffet meals for all our bigger events. If you haven't tried her food, come along on a regular Friday club night or join us for when a buffet is planned, usually at least one a month.

Coming soon:

Friday 21 April St George's Dinner with a scrumptious Roast Beef Buffet. There will also be a chance to win a prize in the 'Sell a Tile' fundraiser for the Social Committee coffers.

Sunday 23 April Boat Bits and Car Boot Sale and EVERYONE is welcome. It is a chance to sell unwanted 'stuff', enjoy coffee & a bacon buttie or browse the items on sale. The club will have a stall fundraising to support our youth sailors and we have limited space to accept suitable donations for this stall. Contact Gill, Beryl or Diane for more info.

The next Quiz Night is on Friday 28 April. Book online now and when booking for a group please make sure to let the office have a list of who you are booking for. As it is close to Anzac Day you are invited to wear a poppy, there will be one round of Anzac related questions and we will be rattling a collection bucket for donations.

Friday 19 May MIX 'N' MINGLE evening for ALL MEMBERS new and old, social or boaties. An informal occasion to chat to someone different, meet like minded people (or not !) and enjoy another great buffet.

There are plenty more events and activities being planned for Winter including daytime outings, Sunday afternoon speakers, a pub games night, monthly quizes and more.

And finally: Coffee Mornings were popular when they started but interest dwindled to only 5 or 6 attendees. Let us know your thoughts if you would like to see them return. Email

PS. Friday 15 December Christmas Dinner Dance so put the date in your diary now.

Snippets from the Rear Commodore


Our friends at Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club are hoping to get enough people together to charter one of these Round the World Maxi Yachts for a sail to and/or return from Tauranga in the Spring. They already have about 30 enthusiastic sailors, many from their WOW fleet, and they need at least another 20 to make it happen. Contact attention Jackie


Forest & Bird's Pest Free Hibiscus Coast Project wants to reconnect with members of the Gulf Harbour Yacht Club. You may remember that a while ago the project gave out free rat traps to club members living locally, these are still available, as they are to all residents of the Hibiscus Coast. As boaties you all know how precious both the coast where we live is, as well as the fabulous pest free islands that surround us our native wildlife needs our protection. We are offering humane tested, pet-safe backyard rat / mouse traps FREE on long term loan, we simply ask that you record what you catch online. If you do not yet have one of our backyard traps at home and would like one, please complete the order form on the link below and we will get one out to you. If you have one already please do remember to make sure this is baited even if you have not caught or seen a rat in a while, we can also replace old traps if needed. You can even pop it on your boat if you are concerned you have a furry passenger! Coverage is key and our goal is to have a baited trap in every fourth house on the coast.

Order Trap:

Find out more: Contact Community Activator Andrea Dick


REPURPOSE, REUSE, RECYCLE: a reminder that we are collecting old mobile phones to support the work of Sustainable Coastlines. Also aluminium wine bottle tops that Orewa Lions Club recycle to support Kidney Kids NZ. They accept old car/boat batteries too to help Child Mobility Foundation, contact Laurie Rands 09 426 3122 / 021 893 239 to arrange for drop off or collection.

We welcome the support of all members by popping old phones into the collection box in reception, and wine caps are collected at the bar.


Just like any property, the club needs ongoing maintenance inside and out. Two or three times a year we have a hedge cutting and gardening day, we have inside days particularly before big events, and we even have a trophy polishing morning before the annual prizegiving

As a club run almost entirely by members, if you have plumbing, building, woodworking, gardening or other skills or are happy to turn your hand to a bit of cleaning, please do let me know - Diane ( 021 230 5745. Coffee & bikkies for volunteers


Over the last three years we have provided some youth sailors with financial support towards life-changing experiences aboard the Spirit of New Zealand, Steinlager 2 or Lion New Zealand. We would like to continue in this way for students who prove themselves to be worthy of support, so if you have any fundraising experience or know of any businesses or organisations who might provide donations then please do let me know.

FOUND spinnaker pole found floating in the water off Shakespear beach. Please contact if you think it is yours

Last updated 09:19 on 20 February 2024

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