This section is dedicated to Harry Bielby, once described by a former commodore as "the club's all-purposes secretary". Harry took over administration of the TSPYC in a time of financial turmoil and for many years, served simultaneously as secretary, treasurer, race officer and editor of the club magazine Parrot. He stepped back at the end of 2009, having well and truly ensured that the club was on a stable financial footing. Harry passed away in June 2012.
Thanks are also due to Barry and Sandra North who had stored much of this information amongst their own mementoes, although again it must be acknowledged that a great deal of it originated from Harry's pen.
Images from the "Millenium Issue" of the Parrot:
Left, Lollipop and right, Shilo, with former commodore the late Rusty Gould (left) and Phil Mischewski.
The Tutukaka Hotel (a.k.a. the pub) burned down in January 2000. A loss for any community, doubly so for the TSPYC because we had a dedicated bar area with memorabilia which did not survive the fire.
The former Navy hydrographic ship HMNZS Tui was sunk in 32m of water north of Tutukaka in February 1999 to create a dive attraction, a major success for the Tutukaka Coast Promotions Society.
The former frigate HMNZS Waikato followed in November 2000, to the south of Tutukaka in Ngunguru Bay - click here for video of that event.
Ticked Pink brings a new dimension to the Target Tutukaka race by hooking up two 20-pound kingfish on lures they were towing. Both fish were successfully landed and the boatspeed reportedly increased by nearly two knots once they were on board and Ticked Pink came home third. The fish were duly enjoyed at the prizegiving.
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1994-95: AMERICA'S CUP
"A bunch of upstarts." This, club commodore Rusty Gould wrote to members, was how Sailing magazine had described the TSPYC challenge for the America's Cup. It is fair to say that this event has not traditionally been kind to small, provincial yacht clubs on limited budgets.
Following is an excerpt from the club magazine the Parrot: "In 1994, the Pacific Challenge was confirmed as one of eight challengers for the 1995 America's Cup, designer Bruce Farr was commissioned, and against the might of convention the challenge has the foundations for one of the most novel approaches to funding and managing an America's Cup campaign. The Pacific Challenge IACC yacht will begin construction in June, be launched in September or October, trialled in November, and shipped to San Diego in December for racing in January 1995."
The philosophy of the Challenge was summarised as: "Build the best possible boat with the most economical financial structure, deliver the boat to the venue as late as possible to minimise costs, and take on the world's finest yachtsmen."
However, the financial commitment was acknowledged: "Our novel and somewhat creative funding plans have evolved from the pressures brought to bear due to the lack of support from this nation's major television network, Television New Zealand...[who] have signed an exclusive sponsor support programme with New Zealand's other challenger, Team New Zealand.
"As a result, the Pacific Challenge has pursued its path without the help of television...While in this instance, the Pacific Challenge has little to offer sponsors by way of bonus commercial air-time, the challenge will offer a unique package of opportunities to sponsors.
"...The Pacific Challenge is to launch an unusual share-market float this year to raise fifteen to twenty million dollars...Given the success of the Pacific Challenge in San Diego next year, the investment can be likened to buying gold-mining or oil prospects."
In the event, the Tag Heuer syndicate, headed by Chris Dickson, finished a creditable third in the Louis Vuitton Cup (behind Team New Zealand and One Australia). However, the challenge was financially ambitious for a small club and the effects were felt for years to come.
A report on the AGM in November 1993 states that the club had a total membership of more than 800, three-quarters of whom were US residents.
A beach party for TSPYC members is organised in San Diego, California.
Meanwhile, about 50 members enjoy the TSPYC Christmas spit-roast at commodore Rusty Gould's cove. The local racing fleet numbers 12 to 14 boats and also offers a race course finishing at Ngunguru for trailer yachts from that location.
TSPYC hosted the multi-event Aquathlon, involving teams from eight yacht clubs competing in gamefishing, underwater photography and windsurfing as well as yacht race. Guest-star competitors included Chris Dickson, Barbara and Bruce Kendall and Darryl Torckler.
TSPYC launches a drive for offshore members to help support the construction of a substantial clubhouse on a 13-acre site bought by founding commodore Carlton Peterson prior to the Tutukaka Marina being built.
An accompanying document records the club already having 600 members in 15 countries, including "a world champion match race skipper, an Olympic gold medal windsurfing champion, an America's Cup crew member, world class yacht designers, a lunar astronaut, a world famous news commentator, motion picture starts, directors, producers, cinematographers and film editors..." the list goes on. The club's officers and committee members number more than 25 individuals.
What could have been - a sketch of the proposed new TSPYC clubhouse from 1992.
Chris Dickson, representing the TSPYC, wins the Congressional Cup regatta at Long Beach, California. His Whitbread entry Tokio also flies the TSPYC burgee.
TSPYC founded in February 1989 by Carlton Peterson (pictured left) and others, with an eye to becoming a club of international standards.
Through a similar era, a separate group of Tutukaka boat owners had been enjoying local racing and eventually these two came together under the TSPYC flag.
In 2001, former commodore and patron Bob Gummer (pictured below) recalled the first race in his reflections on the club's early days: "Dave Casling of Bobby McGee suggested to Ken McKillop (Lollipop) and me that we start a spot of racing, and my records show the first race was Wednesday evening November 15, 1989. Gradually more yachts joined in and it seems we've been at it ever since."
Bob continues: "Hiccups on the way - the time when we all got a bit competitive and didn't give enough clearance around Rauhomaumau Reef. Hiaroa, on the inside of the turn, caught the tip of her keel on a submerged outlier of the main reef and sustained some severe shock cracks in the skin and central frame. This was repaired by Stuart Mitchell so well that it is considerably stronger in these areas than originally - it is the rock which will crumble next time!"
Another anecdote was the incident in which he took Hiaroa into one of the caves at the Poor Knights. She rose up on an incoming swell, bringing the masthead into contact with the roof of the cave. Bob's punchline was that Hiaroa was the only boat in the fleet to have hit rocks with both its lower and upper extremities.
Below: Former commodore Bob Gummer and crew aboard Hiaroa, circa 2003.
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