Back to top anchor
Close main menu
Open main menu Close main menu

Help save Mercury Bay Boating Club

Issue date

The storm surge which has thrown Mercury Bay Boating Club members into a crisis state is posing a stark reminder to all water-front yacht clubs of the geographic risks they could come up against too.  

“Preventing total loss” of the historic Whitianga yacht club was the goal just this morning as locals, visitors, and community members turned out to install a temporary coastal defence structure to protect the slither of land now separating the club from the sea following strong tidal surges across the Coromandel. 

Mercury Bay

Commodore Jonathan Kline says this mornings’ effort from a group of volunteers who turned out with spades, tools, diggers and hiabs to put concrete blocks and sandags in place was humbling.  

“It shows how much this facility means to the community too. We view it as a club for everyone, not just sailors. It’s often used for community meetings, functions and so on. It’s location by the sea, for people who love the sea. To have such a strong and concerted effort from a skilled group of people this morning was remarkable,” Kline says.  

Coastal erosion has always been a threat to the club, and plans have been in place for some time to relocate the building back from the beach.  

“It goes to show that whatever timeframe you think you have, nature will have the final say. We knew this was coming and believed we had been acting in a pro-active way – however the lesson learned is that any type of planning relating to a coastal defence system, new site, or similar, takes far longer than you think it would,” he says.  

And on the flipside of that, he says nature has the ability to erode all planning in just 12 hours.  

Yachting New Zealand CEO David Abercrombie says the current situation they face is a timely reminder for all clubs to ensure plans are in place to mitigate the risk of climate change and a changing environment.  

“They had than half the local community down their helping out, and this reinforces what an important aspect of community life yacht clubs are. The Mercury Bay Boating Club is such an important part of our local and international yachting history, and we will be providing updates over the coming months as to the plan for saving the club,” he says.  

Mercury Bay Boating Club holds a special place in New Zealand’s boating heritage as the first club to challenge for the America’s Cup in 1987, the challenge lead by Sir Michael Fay. 

The club has set up a givealittle page where all funds raised will contribute to lifting and relocating the club inland.  

Click here to find out more and donate.