‘The Biggest Little Yacht Club in the World’
FAKAALOFA LAHI ATU
The Niue Yacht Club has, since its inception, been a voluntary organization. A small group of dedicated people interested in things nautical.
The first minutes of the Niue Yacht Club are dated the 16th December 1991 and was attended by 9 members. There were previous blue water activity clubs involving visiting yachts, but this was the first meeting for the now named Niue Yacht Club. 1995 saw the club take over the installation and maintenance of the 6 moorings from the Niue Government.
In 1997 the club became an incorporated society. A organisation that was registered under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and, when incorporated, is authorized by law to run its affairs as though it were an individual person. Members do not have any personal interest in any property or assets owned by the society, a non-profit. Members are not personally liable for the societys debts, contracts or other obligations.
Since 1995 yacht visits increased to a high of around 200 yachts a season. However on January 4th 2004, Niue was devastated by Cyclone Heta with winds reaching 296 kph and wave surges that climbed up over 25 metre high cliffs. Many coastal properties were destroyed, the forest defoliated and many of the pristine coral beds obliterated.
Sadly there were two casualties, when a young woman returned to her home after Heta had passed, and the building collapsed on her and her young son.
Because of these huge seas we lost 10 of our 14 moorings in the Alofi Bay, either by being buried in debris, or washed off the reef shelf into the Deep Blue. In 2005, we began the huge task of replacing our mooring field. In 2006 we had reestablished 14 moorings, only to lose another mooring in a mini cyclone in February.
Since… May 2007.
Currently, our small band of volunteers has our mooring field fully operational for the coming season. As part of our upgrade, we have beefed up the holding power of most of our moorings by placing an additional nine 1.8 tonne mooring blocks beside existing blocks and chaining these together. Now we have 10 of our 15 moorings attached to 3.8 tonne blocks for the heavier yachts who visit.
Many yachties state we should have spent less time to the east of us and more on Niue.
It is interesting to read the logs on the web of the yachts that have passed through. Here they mention the various experiences they have had, that differ from other places on their sailing odyssey.
The divers amongst them remark on the amazing visibility of the waters around Niue. 40 metres on a bad day. Something we take for granted, but apparently is quite unique.
Niue is off the beaten track as a main stream tourist destination and although Air New Zealand flies in once a week, the island is never crowded by tourists. Thus our cruising friends make a significant difference to the economy of Niue and of course to the growth of our Yacht Club.
Our Yacht Club is unique in that none of the 8 members of the management committee actually own a yacht or have much sailing experience. What we do have is this website, that has provided a portal to the world and enabled us to grow.
Since 2000 when the club launched its webspace, our membership has steadily grown. Currently we have 1106 members world wide and as the population of Niue is approximately 1300 people, we may soon create a Guinness Book of Records by having a world wide membership greater than the number of people living here.
Unfortunately all those on our data base haven’t remained financial members, but we do have a substantial following of loyal members who continue to use Paypal and renew their memberships.
What is unique amongst our members is that many have never visited or even sailed. One of our recent members signed up from Arizona and another from the Virgin Islands.
If your read our blogs, you will see from the photos how NYC features prominently on our T shirts and on yachts sterns. Bob S from New York has Niue YC proudly promoted on Carpe Diem. We hope to meet Bob and Carpe Diem one day, tied up on our moorings.
While our main focus is providing safe facilities for visiting yachts, we also support the Youth Vaka races, contribute towards the Elderly Citizens Christmas meal and of course, are good hosts with frequent BBQs for our visitors.
Become part of a Legend, even if you are an armchair sailor (like Horst see 2007 blog) and help us grow to truly become,
‘The Biggest Little Yacht Club in the World’