New Zealand Trailer Yacht Association
Like other similar organisations NZTYA faces many challenges, probably the greatest of which is the need to relate to its membership. You will hear in the Treasurer’s report that while 2 Clubs rejoined NZTYA, unfortunately 3 Clubs or Associations did not renew their membership. Our Association exists for its members and a key factor in retaining existing members and striving to bring other members into the fold is the need to remain relevant to members’ needs both those they raise and those which we raise on their behalf.
In the main we have had a good year, approving new designs which embrace modern technology and encouraging further development in our sport, and the Committee remains as a sounding board for yachties wishing to purchase trailer yachts. On our behalf The Bay of Plenty Trailer Yacht Squadron organised and ran a very successful and well supported New Zealand Championship. Lake Brunner Yacht Club organised the South Island Championships. While it is important for our sport to share these events around the country as it encourages sailors to travel, the cost for the individual of participating in these events can be considerable, especially if long travelling distances are required. In setting future venues we need to be aware of the centres of greatest TY participation and encourage the local sailors to sail in our named events. Participation improves sailing skills, extends relationships (and sometimes vocabulary).
Overall fleet sizes continue to fall. As boats and owners age, participation tends to drop off. The 2010’s are a different time to the 1970’s & 80’s when most of the trailer yachts that make up our fleets were designed. Nowadays skippers are finding that life demands time and commitment in direct conflict with the expense of a capital intensive sport such as sailing. However parts of the sailing community are showing signs of resurgence. Interest in the sports remains high (but also somewhat divided) with the highly visible and high octane America’s Cup. Centreboard sailing participation is strong and it remains our challenge to ensure that our corner of the sailing world is not overlooked.
Following the YNZ Roadshow last year I had the opportunity to discuss the position of NZTYA with David Abercrombie of YNZ. While YNZ remains supportive in the administration of sail numbers and maintaining the yacht register, it also remains supportive of trailer yachting in general. However this does not extend to including NZTYA in the decision making space as the only conduit that we had as an association, the KORC committee, has now been disbanded and replaced with a new body on which NZTYA has no representation. We continue dialogue with YNZ to remedy this.
As we move into the new year we should remember that we are here for the betterment of trailer yachting in general. Most of our members only see us as the holders of the annual sailing championships but we must also continue to be the voice of trailer yachting, maintaining an even playing field, acting as arbitrator when necessary and providing a caretaker function for trailer yachting. Continuing to hold our AMR in centres of TY strength is one way of spreading the word and encouraging greater participation.
To those present for the first time, please take this opportunity to meet new people and enjoy the fellowship. For those who have travelled far for this meeting, may I also wish you a safe journey home.
Posted: Thu 21 Aug 2014