If you thought running a Regatta in 2021 was a challenge, 2022’s provided its own unique set of problems. Notwithstanding this the Regatta went ahead. The 182nd edition of the Auckland Anniversary Regatta was held on Monday 31st January 2022. The weather was fine and warm with a reasonable sailing breeze in the afternoon.
Activities commenced with the tugboat race which, as usual, produced a great spectacle. Immediately after the tug boats came the classic launch race. It was gratifying to see this new category continue to be well supported with the number of entries increasing year on year.
The launches were followed by the various keeler divisions. While the Classics provided a reasonable sized fleet and the racing was spectacular, all fleets were up in size compared with previous years. Whether this is a reflection of the Auckland sailing community wanting to cast off the shackles of COVID19 or something else is a subject for speculation.
Unfortunately neither the Dragon Boats nor the Waka Ama were able to compete. Despite huge effort it was not possible to bring their competition within COVID restrictions. The Committee would particularly like to thank the clubs that hosted the dinghy events. In particular our thanks go to Takapuna BC, Manly SC, Wakatere BC, Tamaki YC, Northcote/Birkenhead YC, Murrays Bay SC and the Sea Scouts. We also thank Bucklands Beach YC, PCC, Devonport YC and Kawau for starting the Passage Races
A major and very obvious difference this year was the absence of a Guardship. This was due to a number of vessels being on scheduled deployment, the need to provide support to Tonga following the volcanic eruption and crewing shortages arising from personnel being deployed for MIQ duties. Notwithstanding all this the Navy was able to provide tacit support by dressing those assets that remained alongside at Devonport The relationship between the Navy and the Regatta is unique and is to be treasured. The Committee wishes to record their appreciation of the support for the Regatta given by the Royal New Zealand Navy.
A high light of each Anniversary Regatta is usually the prize-giving held at the Squadron. This year we explored a number of scenarios that would have enabled the prize giving to go ahead. In the end the committee decided to abandon the prize giving due to COVID constraints. Hopefully 2023 will be kinder.
The Regatta continues to be in good financial health due to the support of our family of sponsors. I would like to thank our family of sponsors, most of whom have supported us for a number of years. In particular I would like to thank our naming rights sponsor of the past five years, Ports of Auckland which has completed its sponsorship. The committee is actively looking for a new naming rights sponsor.
As the Treasurer’s report shows we have steadily rebuilt the reserves that were run down in past years where sponsorship was an issue. That said we have to be aware that sponsorship is likely to be harder to get in the future. However most of our family of sponsors continue to support the Regatta.
The Committee has met on a reduced number of occasions during the year due to COVID constraints with a number of physical meetings replaced with Zoom meetings. Despite the precautions taken it did not prevent a number of the committee going down with COVID.
The Committee has taken a number of actions to try and increase participation in the Regatta. We have had discussions with the Classics and have made a number of changes to try and accommodate their concerns.
We have given considerable consideration to improving our communication with our community. We have implemented a new web-site which has made entering the Regatta much easier. It has also improved our ability to communicate effectively.
The Committee continues to meet and is always looking for new members
Special thanks go to our long serving (and sometimes long suffering) Executive Officer, Joyce Talbot without whom we would be a much less effective body.
Thanks also needs to go to our long serving Race Officer, Chris Collins and current Race Officer Celia Carson, and their team of race officials without who the Regatta flagship sailing events would be unable to start or finish.
Finally my thanks to the Committee for their continued dedication and support. All are volunteers and all give willingly of their time and expertise.
We will continue to seek to expand the Regatta and look to ensure its continued relevance.
Here’s to a successful Regatta in 2023.
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