From time to time there are significant moments and events in the life of the Club which have a profound influence on the future direction and development of the Club. Over the past 158 years there have been many significant events which have helped to shape the Club into the institution which it is today, and we are indeed privileged to be members of such a historic and internationally respected yacht club.
As members will know, the Club is administered by a number of committees made up of members who volunteer their time and talent and who go about their work in the background all helping to maintain the standards and traditions of the Club while at the same time laying the foundations for the future development and growth of the Club. These committees are the very backbone of the Club and are often comprised of “unsung heroes” whose work is most often unnoticed by the membership. Some projects take several years to become a reality and others are sadly still born.
While there are still a number of exciting projects in the pipeline it is of course most pleasing and satisfying when a special project finally becomes a reality. Accordingly, it gives me great pleasure to announce the arrival of the Royal Natal Yacht Club One Design Fleet. In accordance with international practice and with the assistance of our peer clubs and fellow members of the International Council of Yacht Clubs (ICoYC) the Royal Natal Yacht Club has embarked on a program which will significantly change sailing in South Africa and will contribute to the meaningful and sustained promotion and transformation of the sport of sailing, the yachting lifestyle and our Club.
Extract from International Council of Yacht Clubs – Auckland Commodores Forum 2015
“Clubs must evolve to maintain their relevance and position to keep pace with a constantly changing world. In a time of changing demographics, a changing regulatory environment and a more competitive arena for pastime activities, Clubs need to find creative ways to change as well, while preserving and leveraging tradition and recognising the historical lineage of each club. That will need clubs to embrace change and create an environment relevant to new generations by seeking innovative ways of effecting evolution”
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
Following several months of negotiation and through the generosity and vision of a longstanding Club member the Royal Natal Yacht Club has acquired a fleet of Pacer 27 sport boats, the first of which arrived yesterday at the Clubhouse and will be closely followed by her 3 sisters. The Pacer 27 fleet will then be commissioned and made available to members and suitably qualified non-members for daily charter and participation in a number of varied and exciting events all designed to promote sailing in Durban. Finally the Club has attained the long held desire to provide members and future members with access to the water and the opportunity to experience and enjoy the sport of sailing and actively participate in the yachting lifestyle without owning a yacht. There can be no doubt that this privilege will make membership of the Royal Natal Yacht Club highly desirable and even more meaningful and valuable to anyone wishing to enjoy the sport and yachting lifestyle.
Furthermore the Club has committed to the continued promotion of the Pacer 27 class association also acquiring the Pacer 27 moulds and thereby the ability to produce further yachts which aligns with our commitment to the Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal and our support of the KZN Integrated Maritime Strategy especially the growth and development of the leisure marine industry, the boat building industry and job creation within KwaZulu-Natal.
This is a wonderful opportunity for the Royal Natal Yacht Club, as South Africa’s oldest and most senior yacht club, to follow the example of our international peers such as the Royal Thames Yacht Club, Royal Yacht Squadron, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, the New York Yacht Club, St Francis Bay Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club, to mention only a few of the premier international ICoYC yacht clubs with established club owned fleets of yachts.
More information about the fleet will follow in the coming weeks as the yachts are launched and the program begins to develop, however in the interim we must extend our gratitude and sincere thanks to Mr Tim Dykins for his foresight, passion, dedication and generosity to sailing and his Club.
We look forward to club members seizing this unique opportunity to muster a team, reserve a boat and participate in Durban’s only “true one design keelboat” sailing program which will not only showcase and highlight the talents of our yachtsmen but also uplift the standard of competition and sailing while promoting the yachting lifestyle to the broader society.