One Metre sailing started in the Kerikeri area in late 1981 when some of the Kerikeri Cruising Club keeler owners though it would be good to have a toy to play with when at anchor in a bay overnight. The Marshmallow design was decided on and we were all encouraged to build the same design. Needless to say someone thought a Fefe design would be faster, and someone else had other ideas and the fleet grew from there.
We raced from the Marina area on Friday evenings after work, with the occasional ‘Costal Classic’ from the Yacht Club around to Reidy’s slipway in Te Puna Inlet – about 3 km. We also had a race from Kent Passage out around the Brother’s marker back to the club; these two races were on a Saturday about twice a season.
Late 1996 a large irrigation lake was formed at Sandys Road and this proved an ideal venue with steady winds compared to the flukey conditions at the marina so a few of us started agitating for change of venue which didn’t go down too well as a fair few lived in the Doves Bay / Opito Bay area. At this stage there were thirty-three One Metres in the Kerikeri area.
Eventually on 25 July 1998 a meeting was held at the Lake to discuss the formation of a club for Radio Yachting. Ron Hayes opened the meeting and put forward the reason for the separate organization – i.e. the cost of a Senior Sub to KCC ($85) proving too expensive for several people, also the feeling that such a fee was not justified for the minor costs of running radio yachting. Discussion followed and it was pointed out that KCC committee appreciated the problem but under its own constitution was not able to adjust fees for one sector of its membership.
It was moved that a club be formed. A committee was elected and a copy of the proposed constitution based on North Shore Radio Yacht Squadron put forward for perusal. First committee meeting was held on 23. August, 1998 when subs were set at $15 and with a race fee of $1. It was agreed by all that the upcoming Northland Championships be run under the Kerkeri Crusing Club banner and all profits go to them as the application for the contest was made in their name.
Confirmation of our becoming a member club of the NZRYA was issued on 10. August, 1998. The club has progressed since it’s formation; sure we don’t have a large membership but the standard of sailing is well up there. In 2000 we ran our first National Championships and attracted a fleet of 62 boats from all around New Zealand and a few Aussies. This number of boats has not been beaten yet.
Two National Championships have been won by club members. Three of our members qualified to sail in the World Championships at Wellington (NZ was only allotted 18 places) one of them placing fourth.
We have one of the better weed-free venues, and our subs are still only $15 eighteen years on and no race fees now. The small shed, we got from a butcher in Moerewa and this was our clubhouse for the first year; it’s now the dressing shed. The boat shed was built the following year; I think the Council paid for that.