We like yacht racing and we like community causes.
In March 2011 we supported the East Coast Bays Rotary charity regatta where experienced sailors go aboard with new chums.
The principal beneficiary for this year is 0800 Kidsline which assists kids nationally. They receive around $10,000 through the businesses which bought berths on the yachts. Also supported are scores of other community organisations (click pdf by pic for the brochure).
It was a great day for racing, and entertaining, care of the organisers at the East Coast Bays Rotary Club. Assisting with this has been our pleasure for longer than we can remember. Ken Osborn got us aboard pretty well near the beginning of charity regatta in 1987. At the time the country was in the grip of New Zealand’s first Americas Cup and there was interest in big boats.
The East Coast Bays Rotary Club, along with Gulf Harbour and Half Moon Bay clubs, decided round then to encourage people into saltwater action on the Hauraki Gulf. It didn’t cost so much that it was out of the reach of ‘average bloke’ companies. We could help by supporting Rotary’s administrative effort and buying crew berths.
The regatta benefits community groups which help out people on Auckland’s North Shore – in terms of health, social support or just general cooperation – and it also helps the businessmen in the club.
Over the years the regatta has raised over $600,000.
The pluses for Northern Forklifts are getting to spend time off-duty with those we deal with regularly during the business year and at the same time supporting local organisations. It is neat to be involved in something that everyone enjoys.
ECBRC regatta administrator Martin Reiss says that one year 44 boats sailed the two races on the gulf. This year 20 to 30 boats are expected. Crews also get lunch, dinner and well entertained in the late summer sailing.
“The participants thoroughly enjoy it—and we do it in March as it’s the most settled time. Our only concern is to make sure we don’t have a clash of dates,” Martin says.
On the Shore
The club looks at what organisations do on the Shore when assessing recipients.
“Our criteria are that they’re local and not heavily government-subsidised because then our contribution would be a drop in the bucket… When we make $20-40,000 each year, the charities get a good proportion of that.”
Martin’s job is to oversee that each boat gets certified with the Maritime Safety Authority [MSA], businesses are canvassed and participants equipped.
How we help
As to who races? Some bring their own boats and also pay for guest crew to attend. Some sponsors are solely financial. Some like Northern Forklifts sponsor the regatta and bring in paying crew.
“The boats’ owners contribute their craft and their time and the club sells crew berths to companies. Some boats have 12 paying crew aboard,” Martin Reiss says.
Last year the Melanoma Foundation benefited and Northern Forklifts was ‘premium sponsor’ as well as having three boats on the water with staff and business friends as crew.
Other organisations aided by the regatta since 1987 include: Age Concern; Mairangi Bay Surf Lifesaving Club; Ark Trust; Murrays Bay Sailing Club; Bone Marrow Research; North Shore Hospice; Child Health Research; North Shore Life Centre; Cystic Fibrosis Society; PHAB (Physically Handicapped and Able Bodied); DARE; Plunket; Deodar Trust; PolioPlus; GHYC – Youth Program; St John Ambulance – Shore; Glaucoma NZ; Autism NZ; Waterwise; IHC; Wilson Home; James Family [Shore] and Victim Support Services.