World Arc 2018 – 19 Visits Niue 19th to 29th May
32 yachts were originally listed in the World Arc fleet that were scheduled to visit Niue in this year’s circumnavigation.
This was potentially the biggest fleet that had ever visited Niue and so additional moorings were going to be needed for the greater numbers.
Two separate, but almost identical entertainment programmes were planned, with a welcome for the first fleet at the New Zealand High Commission’s residence on. the 22nd may to be followed by a BBQ at the iconic Vaiolama Cafe and Bar. The following night was to be the fiafia at the Alofi South Village hall.
The first fleet were then to sail and the second group of 18 yachts approx due in over the weekend to repeat a similar welcoming programme.
The first fleet were duly welcomed at the High Com residence followed by a pleasant evening meal at Vaiolama ,on the cliff tops over looking the mooring field.
However an indication of a weather front coming through that forecast NW winds combined with 2m swells from SW would have impacted on the mooring field. There was also an indication in the forecast hat here could be very squally weather on the passage to Tonga n the very near future.i
“Discretion being the better part of valour” meant that all yachts on the field at the time, left by 14:00.
This meant the “fia fia” ( Niuean type feast and entertainment) had to be cancelled at the last minute. This was disappointing for all of the local people who had already prepared the food, as well as for the children who had practised dance routines,However lives and yacht safety was paramount.
While the crews had been looking forward to these evening, from previous World Arc experiences, it was the right decision to make.
I have added some photos of the landing at the wharf where all tenders would have been lifted out that evening. Untenable and dangerous for life and limb.
At that stage the second fleet also changed course and diverted directly to Vavau’ in Tonga
The second High Commission welcome and the Alofi North Fiafia were also cancelled as there weren’t going to be any yachts in the bay.
The Niue Yacht Club management were also disappointed with the outcome, but fully aware that weather conditions can change rapidly here and “Mother Nature Rules OK!”
Acknowledgements and “Thank you !”
We also acknowledge and thank Andrew Bishop, Managing Director of World Arc,Stefano and Galen – Rally control for ensuring the Alofi South community were reimbursed for their efforts and food preparation. The Yacht club also contributed with their donation for goodwill and appreciation for our local people’s support. Thank you to the Alofi North village community for offering the second fiafia night that had to be cancelled as well.
We also thank with appreciation Rami – owner of Magical Niue’s Dive Centre, Ian from “Sea Turtle” charters, for their patience and support – often under trying circumstances – to get the maximum number of moorings in place.
As the Niue Yacht Club doesn’t have any HQ at present, we are also indebted to the staff of Niue Tourism for their front desk support. We also acknowledge the Tourism’s financial support to maintain our mooring field
Tourisms support is reciprocated by the Yacht Club by providing services and facilities to encourage yacht crews to visit Niue. IN 2017 176 yachts with 400 crew visited Niue.
Thanks you to WARCNiue Radio Maritime watch staff, and all other government agencies for their prompt and courteous clearances procedures, often twice a day and over the weekend. Well done and “fakaaue lahi mahaki” to you all for your professionalism. It was noted and commented on by many captains and crew.
Niue Police and Search and rescue team for deploying SAR vessel to assist a potentially disabled yacht onto moorins.
Telecom Niue also supported the Rally Controllers Stefano and Galen by providing high speed internet connections.
Finally a big “Thank you” to the few remaining members of the NYC management committee. An endangered species” – so few with so much to do.
We look forward to World Arc appearing over the horizon in May 2019. In the meantime I am ordering a “crystal ball” from amazon.com to assist with planning.
Fair winds to you all
Keith and the NYC “Few”