Like many people, I'm encouraged by the progress this country is making in tackling Covid-19 but now is not the time to take our foot off the pedal.
The sooner we can get this thing under control, the sooner we can return to some semblance of normality. Stick to the rules, no exceptions.
Many of you will be wondering when we might be able to return to the water and when clubs can start operating again, even in a reduced capacity.
This is something I am working on with the Government, Ministry of Health and Sport New Zealand and I hope to have some clarity around this by the end of next week.
You'll all be familiar with the four-stage alert level system and this gives us some indication of what needs to happen before we can probably get back out on the water.
I expect these guidelines to change as we emerge from lockdown, because it's such a fluid situation, but a return to level 2, when schools are likely to go back, might be the time we we can start activities again.
Our sport is in a good position to ride out this massive disruption, given most clubs go into hibernation in the winter anyway, and we don't have mass gatherings of people when we do meet to go sailing. Regattas can also be tightly controlled and ways of minimising contact can be implemented.
I appreciate this is all having a profound impact on life as we know it but, rest assured, Yachting New Zealand are determined to continue to support clubs.
Clubs are the lifeblood of the sport and play a critical role in many communities so, once again, I'd like to remind everyone that retaining your membership is critical to your club's survival.
Our regional support officers are only too willing to help you with any issues you might have right now, and are your first point of contact, and I'm also available should anyone like to chat. You can email email@example.com or call me on my office number, which will divert to my mobile.
You can find contact numbers for everyone at Yachting New Zealand here and we are still operational, albeit working remotely.
At Yachting New Zealand, we're taking the opportunity to review how we do a number of things and catch up with projects so that we'll be in a better place when we get back up and running fully, and it might be a time for your club to do a similar thing. Again, the regional support officers have some good ideas around this and South Island RSO Ian Gardiner had a checklist of things to consider in his last Regional Roundup.
There's also plenty on offer in terms of online learning, including our own online education platform, which has coaching and race management courses and we aim to add a number of others very soon.
Or you could try eSailing, and we are working on some exciting developments right now.
I know we will all get through this. Remember, treat people with kindness and compassion. And stay connected.
Yachting New Zealand chief executive