Big Win for the Yacht-less Yacht Club
Auckland, New Zealand. November 28 2011 – The ‘yacht-less’ Niue Yacht Club has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Cruising Station of the Year Award by the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA).
The Niue Yacht Club beat over 100 international cruising stations to take out the prestigious cruising station award for their efforts in making Niue such a safe and enjoyable stop for cruisers and for setting an excellent example of what can be done by Cruising Stations to aid SSCA members and the world cruising community.
The Niue Yacht Club is a not for profit organisation run by a very small group of volunteers including retired New Zealand school principal Keith Vial as Commodore. Affectionately referred to as ‘The Biggest Little Yacht Club in the World’, the club is the only one in the world which has no yachts and nobody on the management committee has ever sailed.
Small in size but big in passion when it comes to hosting, the committee strives to be the best possible hosts for the international cruisers who stop in at the island. Niue is popular with yachties as a unique location and a practical place for a visit by boats on the ‘Coconut Run’. Each year the club hosts approximately 200 yachts with 600 – 700 crew members.
The Niue Yacht Club was established in 1992 and in 2009 the club was invited to join the SSCA after three yachts from the organisation visited and were so well looked after that they recommended that the Niue Yacht Club be accepted as an international Cruising Station.
Niue Yacht Club Commodore Keith Vial says, “We may be small but we are very organised and supportive. It comes down to the basis of good marketing I guess. Personal contact, a warm welcome and going that extra mile for all of the cruisers who visit us. They all seem to appreciate it.”
The Yacht Club premises are hosted by Ira and Brian Merrifield who treat all visitors like family.
“Achieving this award has been a team effort by all of our committee members including pervious committees since 1992 for their establishment and ongoing efforts in making the club what it is today. The Niue Tourism Office has also played an important part in supporting our new mooring field and other related activities.”
Since the club’s inception in the SSCA, the Niue Yacht Club has made a number of developments including the deployment of 20 new moorings in Alofi Bay, a new premise at Niue Backpackers where yacht crews can enjoy the use of free Wi-Fi and the establishment of a SailMail system.
Niue is one of only twenty SailMail stations around the world which allows sailors to use email communication via radio frequencies and the closer they are to Niue the stronger the signal gets. Niue Yacht Club uses SailMail to offer a unique service that provides important information to potential visitors such as mooring availability.
Niue Island is renowned as a soft adventure eco-paradise offering excellent snorkeling, diving and fishing as well as unique experiences like swimming with the whales, coconut crab hunting and cultural activities. The island also has great hiking and biking tracks allowing visitors to explore the island’s rainforest, secluded bays and scenic lookouts.
Yachties who are interested in visiting Niue Island can find a wealth of information at the Niue Yacht Club’s website - www.nyc.nu.