It’s taken a huge amount of money and work to repair the damage left behind when a storm smashed into the Howick Sailing Club’s premises almost three years ago.
The storm that struck east Auckland’s coastline on January 5, 2018, caused an estimated $100,000 of damage in repairs and lost equipment to the club, its commodore Tim Nichols says.
Among the important equipment the ocean took from its clubroom at Howick Beach were buoys, anchors, tools, and a safety boat.
“A huge, high, king tide came through with a massive northerly and smashed up the downstairs of the club,” Nichols told the Times.
“We started a programme about six months ago to basically put it back together.”
Nichols says it took a lot of work to get the club’s insurers and engineers to agree on what was needed to be done.
“We’ve taken the opportunity to redecorate inside the clubroom, which wasn’t part of the original works programme but something we chose to do.
“The club has not had any time or effort spent on it since about 1965.
“We’ve redecorated, repainted and cleaned it all up. We’ve ended up with a really cool space.”
Nichols says the club hopes its new revamped clubroom can help it attract new members.
It runs a range of initiatives for young sailors in the community and facilitates a Waterwise programme on behalf of four local schools that gives Year 7 and 8 pupils the chance to learn about water safety.
“They come down and do some sailing and kayaking and it’s all about getting confident on the water,” Nichols says.
“The Howick Sailing Club’s reason for being is to help to make this happen.
“We run our own ‘learn to sail’ programmes off the back of that. The kids come and they have a great day.
“The club is all about learning to sail so we work really hard on that and it’s a programme we love.”
Nichols says while the bulk of the repairs to the clubroom were funded through insurance, the Howick Local Board has provided money to carry out additional work.
The club applied to the board for a grant of $24,838.60 toward the purchase and installation of windows, glass and doors for its clubroom.
The board voted to grant it $12,000.
The board previously provided funding to the club to buy a number of Optimist dinghies in 2018.
Nichols says now is an ideal time for new people to get involved with the club.
There’s a variety of activities for people to take part in, including Sunday afternoon racing.
He’s also keen to hear from people who might want to rent out the clubroom.
“We have a relatively small membership and would really love to grow the club.
“We’ve got some boats we can let people use but generally from a club racing perspective people bring their own boats down.
“The club has spent all this time creating a great facility and we want to make people aware that space is available to rent at a ridiculously cheap price.”
Howick Local Board chairwoman Adele White says the sailing club’s premises has provide a “great service for many years”.
“Because of its location, it is subject to the elements and is well in need of an upgrade.
“The board is proud we can support this work.”