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Home / Newsletters / Newsletter November 2021
Home / Newsletters / Newsletter November 2021

Newsletter November 2021

Message from the Commodore; November 2021

Dear Members: the purpose of my message could be interpreted as a duty call to connect with you, as I enter a fifth year as Commodore of GHYC. However, my real reasons for this message are to energize connections within our GHYC community and tell you that we are actively looking at options for opening the Club. We are thinking and we will be doing. We will also be safe.

If I could take this opportunity to reinforce what I said at the AGM. I stepped up for a fifth year as Commodore, because I wanted to step up. I am excited about the opportunities that lay before GHYC, I am grateful for the supporting efforts of the Executive, Sailing and Social Committees of the last four years and I am enthusiastic about taking GHYC forward with our new Executive Committee. I'm that excited about our new Executive that I asked the new members to provide a brief introductory biography for this Newsletter. Read on I reckon that we'll have some fun together!

There is no doubt that we are living in anxious and frustrating times, with a persistent background presence of COVID-19 that is affecting our lives, our work, and our interactions. Auckland has been in a very long period of restrictions and the rest of New Zealand waits each day on tenterhooks to see if they may suffer the same consequence if COVID-19 cases breech the regional borders. Messages can seem confusing, priorities are divided between concerns about the health system, concerns about vulnerable populations, business and personal objectives, and the overwhelming desire to get back to some sense of 'normal'. It is not my purview to provide advice to you or anyone on how to manage our current circumstances; I will, however, comfortably say to you, that 'connections are really important, and connections are absolute game changers'.

Internally and externally, your Club has been 'working the system', through staying abreast of the COVID-19 rules and revising our Sailing Instructions to deliver an opportunity to 'go sailing with a purpose'. We will continue to 'work the system' and do our best to deliver opportunities within our remit. Sport NZ Direction and Guidance for Level 3, Step 2 (3.2) restricts sailing to household bubbles; and whilst 3.2 does allow for gatherings of 25 people or less in outdoor settings for outdoor recreation, there is still a requirement for adherence to physical distancing and public health measures.

Your new Executive will collectively and virtually meet on Monday 15 Nov for our first meeting since the AGM and we will discuss the next steps with respect to how the Club could and should open up and yet remain within acceptable health and safety risk tolerances. I will candidly say to you, the Members; I truly want to open the Club for our use; however, we must operate safely. The risk of sharing COVID-19 isn't negotiable.

On a very positive note, thank you to the Sailing Committee for their efforts in building a set of Sailing Instructions that allowed 14 boats to safely sail our #2 race of the Burnsco Cruising Series on Saturday 06 Nov! We had a fantastic few hours on the water and we followed up on the event the next day with a 'virtual prize giving' via Zoom. Thank you, team, for making this activity happen.

We are living in very challenging times and therefore we must think differently; we need to adapt and overcome and improvise. We need to be careful, we need to be tolerant, and we need to practise acceptance. Your Executive Committee is mindful of the 'want' to open the Club, we are also mindful of the 'need' to open the Club. Rest assured, we are committed towards advancing your interests in best utilising our Club's facilities, and thus regaining that essential human behaviour of connectedness. Check out the new members of the Executive

Respectfully, John Butcher.

Commodore, GHYC

Club Captain Grahame Brown

Lynne and I have been sailing together for 52 years firstly in a 22ft Pied Piper, then an Alan Wright 28 ft Nova design, next a Bo Birdsall 34 which we sailed round the North Island with sons aged 3 and 5. In Tenacious, a Ganley 34 in steel, we completed a circumnavigation via Africa 1983 /1988 sons aged 6 and 8 for eight years. Minaret our Lidgard 38 took us around the world a second time via the Red Sea from 1998/2007 - no sons this time!

In 2008 we bought the Davidson 45 called Adamite in Alloy a real beast, we did 5 trips around the Pacific in her. Toronui, our present yacht, is a Bruce Clarke 42 built in 1983 by Bob Wilson. It's nice to own a beautiful Kauri yacht again which we have cruised to the Pacific Islands twice.

With my engineering background and running charter companies in Tonga and Australia and equipment manager for the Olympic sailing team in Atlanta, I was invited five years ago by Yachting New Zealand to become a Safety Inspector for Yachts heading overseas and for the coastal classic.

We both enjoy the company of fellow club members so it was time I stood up and became more involved with the running of the club so it has worked out perfect that I become the Club Captain.

Cheers, Grahame and Lynne.

Club Secretary Adam Nicholson

I grew up in Torbay, on Auckland's North Shore and, inevitably, had a fair bit to do with boats in my younger years.

Over several decades, in my private, voluntary capacity I have worked in various roles, with "not for profits" and incorporated societies as a committee member, a trainer, and also in the areas of organisational structure, rules and administration; and my professional career has involved employment law, industrial relations and contract negotiation and advocacy where I have also designed and run courses on advocacy and on negotiation strategy and technique, both within New Zealand and internationally.

Late last year COVID related work reduction gave me, with my wife, Debbie, the opportunity to re-evaluate life and we moved to Tindall's Beach. We arrived in December last year and, as a way of settling in, joined several clubs up here.

GHYC appealed to us both because it appeared to have a strong social side and an equally strong and progressive sailing and training aspect. The latter provided an opportunity to renew my acquaintance with yachts and a motivation to buy one. Since we've joined the Club, we have completed the Day Skipper course run by the Club and are part-way (COVID permitting) through the next step with training negotiated by the Club with the RNZYS. I have appreciated the support given by many current members in increasing our knowledge and the opportunity to gain some racing experience as part of the Club's activities.

I stood for the position of Club Secretary at the recent AGM because I believe that where you get something out of a relationship or activity you should put something back in. I look forward to working with the Executive Committee and helping further develop the membership, social activity and nautical knowledge and excellence which attracted me in the first place.

Dianna Bassett Executive Committee

My husband, Greg, and I were foundation members of GHYC. At that time, we owned a Farr 9.2, "Cloud 9.2", and I competed in most series with a women's crew. I was approached by GHYC about getting a team together to compete in the Women's Keelboat Nationals. I formed a team of local sailors and our patron, Alan Wright, took us under his wing and spent many hours coaching us in preparation. We competed in two national women's keelboat championships in the MRX class (1992, 1993) and one national women's match racing series in Young 88s.

At a later stage I had a half-share in the Lotus 10.6 "Punchline" with Alan Wright, which we raced locally. One of our notable achievements on Punchline was winning the 1995 women's division of The Coast Classic.

To develop our team's racing skills further, I purchased a Young 88, 'Afterglow', which we competed in open and women's events in Auckland city.

In 2002 Greg and I spent a year in Portsmouth, UK, where I sailed for a Royal Navy team at Gosport. This experience gave us the travel bug and in 2005 I accepted a 3-year appointment as Principal of Markham College, Lima, Peru. From there I accepted a further principal's appointment in Papua New Guinea working for the International Education Agency for a 6-year term. We were members of the Royal Papua Yacht Club in Port Moresby, where I raced on Racketeer, a Farr 38, and was secretary of the sailing division. I also organised and instructed sailing courses for beginners.

Upon our return to New Zealand, Greg and I retired and purchased a Jeanneau 36, which we renamed "Knot@Work". We rejoined GHYC and just over 5 years ago purchased a house in Gulf Harbour. We sold "Knot@Work" earlier this year and have recently purchased a Riviera 36 launch, 'Renaissance'.

I look forward to contributing to GHYC as part of the executive team and hope to foster the involvement of both motor and sailboats within the club's cruising calendar.

Phil Shaw Executive Committee

Phil moved to GHYC about a year ago from West Harbour, and lives with his partner Marnie on the hill above the marina at Fairway Bay. Phil originally worked for Air NZ as an aircraft engineer, and then started in business as a contract food manufacturer in his mid-twenties.

Shaws Berry Farm is situated in Coatesville on a small lifestyle block, and Phil spends 2 days a week in the office there. He enjoys both cruising and racing Satisfaction in the summer and they spend many winter months exploring the USA in their American camper. Phil started sailing when he was 14, and regularly rum races in town on Friday afternoons. Phil is excited to be involved at GHYC and looks forward to injecting some fun into our programmes.

Greg Dickinson Executive Committee

I'm an engineer, recently retired from work in Hamilton to our new home in Gulf Harbour overlooking the golf course, nice and close to the marina. About 9 years ago I thought I'd take up sailing again after a brief foray as a kid on Lake Rotorua in a P class some 45 years earlier and bought a 48ft Beneteau. We sailed it immediately to the Bay of Islands and back for 4 weeks .... the learning curve during that first summer was spectacularly steep and interesting to say the least!

We now have a beautiful Hanse 505 "Leonard C" after deciding last summer to continue sailing as opposed to transitioning towards a motor boat. The Hanse has all the creature comforts required for the distant (fingers crossed) future Gaylene insisted on an island bed and walk through transom as a minimum.

The GHYC is a vibrant club for both yacht and power boat owners alike and is run by an amazingly dedicated and competent committee I feel honored to assist. We have a wonderful venue in the perfect position, may we emerge from COVID soon!

Club Sailing News

Alert Level 3 Step 2

IMPORTANT Update from the Sailing Committee 10 November 2021

Guidance from Sport New Zealand for Alert Level 3 Step 2 is that whilst on shore activities may have mixed bubbles, that sailing activities must still only be one bubble.

Accordingly the status of our Summer Series through November is as follows:-

  • 10 Nov Taylor & Co Ladies Twilight Race 2 Cancelled
  • 17 Nov Gulf Harbour Marina Twilight Race 3 - Cancelled
  • 20 Nov Burnsco Summer Cruising as Pursuit Bubble Race 3 Yes very much "Still On"
  • 24 Nov Taylor & Co Ladies Twilight Race 2 Cancelled
  • 28 Nov B & T Two Handed Series Race 1 Decision closer to event
  • 01 Dec Gulf Harbour Marina Twilight Race 4 - Decision closer to event

Wednesday Nov 24th Mid-week Pursuit Bubble Event?

Your Sailing Committee are looking to holding a mid-week Twilight Pursuit Bubble Challenge as a substitute event in lieu of the cancelled regular Twilight Races provided there is sufficient member interest. Format would be similar to the Weekend Cruising Bubble Races.

Q: Are any members interested in taking part in such an event? No entry fee required.

If so, would you kindly advise John Bruce before 17th November, so that the Committee may confirm there is enough interest to warrant proceeding with the event.

John Bruce, Sailing Committee Chair


Mob: 021 0291 3994

Burnsco Summer Cruising

Great news that Summer Cruising finally got underway last Saturday, all be it in a modified pursuit format with no overnighting. Under brilliant sunshine, 14 boats joined the race, creating a sense of returning to some sort of normality. The day was declared a great success with a Zoom prizegiving the following afternoon

Current Rules & Regulations for all Boaties

Yachting New Zealand are constantly updating their website with the latest Covid information for all boaties, not just sailors. You can check it out here:

Biofouling and Marine Pests as members prepare to get back on the water for Summer, please check out the current legislation regarding cleaning your hull and other relevant information. The link can be found on the GHYC website under 'Documents'

Auckland Navigation Bylaw 2021 What speed can we do near the shore, other boats, marine mammals? Where are we not allowed to anchor? Check out the current rules here:

Snippets from the Rear Commodore

One minute we are heading into Winter, along comes Delta, and now all the talk is of Christmas!


Fri 12th to Sun 14th November

0900 1445 daily

Another chance for anyone who still needs a 1st or 2nd jab to pop in to the Club this coming weekend. An opportunity right on the doorstep for everyone or anyone in the local community - all are welcome.

Great photos win prizes

Open to all members, the current subject is 'ROCKS'

Let your imagination take over.

Entries taken in 6 months preceding judging, $2 per entry

Entries as prints, minimum size 4" x 6" (100 x 150cm)

Judging by Club members when we are open again

More information: Beryl Rowland (09 428 1554)

Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird

2 pairs of New Zealand dotterel, tūturiwhatu are showing strong signs of nesting at Big Manly Beach. There is signage and fencing where they have been settling. The dotterels are rarer than some species of kiwi! Please don't let your dog chase the birds or disturb them when they start sitting.

Not sure what to get the grandkids for Christmas?? Why not give a year-long gift of nature with a Kiwi Conservation Club Christmas Pack for our younger generation conservationists. Find out more at and

Don't forget that even in lockdown you can go fishing, and you don't even need a boat!

Parking at GHYC

Anyone who has been down to the Hammerhead recently will notice that there are two large containers in the area historically used as dedicated Club parking. GH Marina have generously let us use this area for parking for many years, but with the growth in business and interesting plans for the future of the Marina, we no longer have this area set aside for our exclusive use.

Once we are open for business again, we would like to ask that members who have a boat in the Marina use their access to the berth holder restricted parking area near to the Club. This will allow our many Associate Members to use what little space remains where the containers are, and in the public parking across the road from the Club main entrance.

2021-2022 Yearbook & Membership Cards

Next week we will start delivering the new Yearbook & Membership Cards to those who have paid their annual subs, so please make sure we have your correct address. Invoices were sent out following the AGM, if you haven't received one please let the office know

Last updated 09:19 on 20 February 2024

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