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Timaru Yacht and Powerboat Club's new commodore Gordon Collister

by Greta Yeoman

Funding facilities at the Timaru Yacht and Powerboat Club are set to get a boost under a new access scheme.

The club’s new commodore, Gordon Collister, said the club was installing a gate across the main accessway, which would be accessible to those who purchased an access key.

An annual pass could be bought, as could shorter-term options.

It would be an expansion on the current honesty box system the club had in place, to allow for better funding for the upkeep of facilities.

Access to the boat ramp would also include the toilet block, and washdown facilities.

The 2019-20 sailing season was set to begin this Saturday, the first race beginning at 2pm.

Mr Collister, who became the club’s commodore in July, said there had been a short-term renovation work done to the jetty, but the club would have to talk to the community and council about long-term plans “at some stage”.

“The silting in the bay [is an issue] it’s getting shallower and shallower at the wharf.”

He said the club still had a “really good” junior committee, which was continuing to encourage more young people into the sport.

While “quite a lot of kids” had taken up sail races, it was also about “messing about in boats”, Mr Collister said.

Cruising was also popular with club members, which would include the Aviemore Classic at Labour Weekend.

Other big events would be thejunior age group regatta in Caroline Bay in February, along with the Roaring 40s powerboat event in June 2020.

Mr Collister, who has been a member of the Timaru Yacht and Powerboat Club committee for several years, said he first got into sailing in his early 20s after going on the Spirit of Adventure in 1974.

“I almost instantly bought a small yacht.”

He said the club had members from youngsters to sailors in their 70s.