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Kerikeri Cruising Club

YNZ update on Covid-19 - March 24

Issue date

Kia ora

It has been a whirlwind 24 hours and, like me, I'm sure you are all trying to get your head around what your world looks like right now.

And that's OK. Now is the time to take a breath, look after those in your immediate surroundings and plan for what will be a challenging time.

Yachting New Zealand fully endorse the actions taken by the Government and the rules they have imposed around social distancing. We support what they are trying to achieve.

That will mean a number of sacrifices, including not going sailing for the foreseeable future. We have cancelled all Yachting New Zealand coaching sessions, no matter how small and safe they might appear to many. 

The Coastguard are also appealing for people to stay off the water during the lockdown. Remember, if you get in trouble, Coastguard staff and volunteers might be asked to leave self-isolation. Please don't put yourself or others at risk.

I know that sounds hard for many, and sailing might seem like a safe sport right now, especially for single-handed sailors, but we all need to play our part if we are to limit the spread of Covid-19 and beat this thing sooner rather than later.

It doesn't mean Yachting New Zealand has simply shut the doors. We continue to operate, albeit remotely, and will be developing our plans to make sure that, when this thing passes, we come out of it in a much better position to deliver those programmes, initiatives and events to help our sport grow.

Our regional support officers are there to help, and Ian Darby will be joining the team next week as RSO for the southern area of the northern region, and the rest of the team are only too willing to answer your questions.

We will be updating our website regularly, and will continue to communicate directly with clubs or on our social media channels.

It's going to be a difficult time for everyone, including yacht clubs. For that reason, I'd like to encourage everyone to think about the importance their clubs play in the local community. Even if sailing programmes and regattas have been put on hold, retaining your membership is critical to your club's survival.

Clubs should continue to be in regular contact with members to let them know what is going on in their environment. If you need help with this, then please let us know, and please share this message with your members to help them understand the position Yachting New Zealand is taking.

If some of your members are elderly or on their own, then create a support network to let them know there are people out there willing to lend a hand and maybe shop for them, or even just someone to talk to. 

This is a time when we can all take a breath and review the way we operate. See this as an opportunity to think about ways to improve the way we operate, communicate and what we offer to our members. 

Stay connected, stay positive and, most of all, look after yourselves and your family. I have no doubt that, over time, life will return to normal.

Kia kaha

Kind regards
David Abercrombie
Yachting New Zealand chief executive