At the 120th Annual General Meeting of the Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Sally Garrett was welcomed on board as the Commodore of the upcoming season.
This is the second time in the club’s history that a women has taken the helm. The first was Daphane Goldsmith, who was Commodore from 1990-91. Goldsmith was the first female commodore for a Royal Club anywhere in the world.
Garrett is well respected within the yachting community as a sailor and administrator. In the past three years she led the development of safety processes and risk assessment documents for RAYC offshore and coastal racing. These regulations are now used by Yachting New Zealand as an example for other clubs heading offshore.
In 2012, Garrett, along with her ship mate Rob Croft, was the first women to successfully complete the Round New Zealand Yacht Race, winning the final leg into Auckland. In addition to this, she finished fourth overall in the past two editions of the Round North Island two handed yacht race, and has represented New Zealand in match racing, Flying 15, 470’s and women’s keelboat fleet racing. Garrett owns a 28ft Gladden motor-sailor and helms a Flying 15 with her partner Neil Easton which they are currently campaigning for the 2017 Worlds to be held in Napier.
As well as being an accomplished keelboat helm and crew, Garrett is also coach to other RAYC sailors who will endeavour to race in the 2017 Round North Island Race.
After holding the reigns of Vice Commodore and Chair of the Sailing Committee for three successful seasons, Garrett was invited to take over the role of Commodore by Nathan Bonney, who has held the role for two years. Bonney, who owns and skippers the Elliott 770 Faster Coyote, stepped down as Commodore at the 120th AGM but will continue to be involved with the Akarana Marine Sports Charitable Trust.
A-Class catamaran sailor Stephen Delahunty has stepped into the role of Vice Commodore and Chair of the Sailing Committee for the 2016/2017 season. Delahunty was introduced to the club by Past Commodore Matt Woodley, when he was looking for crew on his Formula 18 catamaran. Since then Delahunty has sailed a mix of classes at RAYC, and in early 2016 bought Emirates Team New Zealand sailor Glenn Asbhy’s A-Class which he sails regularly in the Akarana Series.
Delahunty has a big year ahead as Vice Commodore. He will oversee the operations of The Boat Builders Akarana Series, PIC Marine Gold Cup and the Round White Island Race. Post Christmas the 12’ Skiff and 18’ Skiff fleets will have their Nationals Championship followed by the second leg of the 18fter Triple Series, the ANZAC Championship.
Roger Slater, who as a teenager sailed from Canada to Auckland and then lived on board the family yacht in Okahu Bay, has joined the Flag Officer group to become Rear Commodore. A sailor at heart, Slater is also an accomplished Triathlete who has competed in the sport at an international level. A marketer by day, Slater will bring fresh ideas to the table to ensure that RAYC continues to maintain its high standards.
Mark Taylor will continue his role as Club Captain as he also prepares for the 2017 Round North Island Race. Taylor will sail with fellow RAYC member Mike Smith on the Stewart 34 Pahi.
Kent Hutchings, who enjoys the cruising elements of sailing, is back on board as the treasurer for the club.
In the coming months, RAYC will relocate from the current location to temporary club rooms at Auckland Sailing Club and the R Class building on the eastern end of the ramp at Okahu Bay. The construction of the Hyundai Marine Sports Center will then take place with an expected move in date during early to mid 2018.
During this time all club activities will continue as normal including the bar and café, academy classes and of course on water activates ranging from paddling, club racing to long haul events.
For more information regarding Royal Akarana Yacht Club please visit www.rayc.co.nz