There’s an old saying, which is no less true for being repeated – you don’t have major sports events without volunteers.
At the Aon Maadi Cup at Twizel’s Lake Ruataniwha this week, there have been a swag of volunteers helping in a range of ways to ensure the regatta proceeds smoothly, and after all the upheaval in a range of ways this year, smooth sailing is to be cherished.
From boat holders to those manning the entry points to the course, to the race officials and judges to the catering staff, no stone is left unturned to ensure all runs as it should.
Take the catering staff. There have been 15 of them, working in shifts and providing pleasant smells from the kitchen.
They come from as far afield as Matamata and as close as Cromwell but they enjoy the camaraderie and simply contributing.
As Gina Cracroft-Wilson, in charge of organising the kitchen, puts it: ‘’we cook for rowing royalty’’.
Most of the food is home cooked, and you don’t hear any complaints from those being fed. Put it this way, if there were they would soon be put in their place.
The game changed for the gate security staff on Friday, the start of the finals programme.
That was when spectators were allowed in, after a relaxing of the Covid regulations by the Government.
But the change was handled efficiently, even if the spectators needed a couple of reminders/warnings about staying in their bubbles.
The volunteers should be given themselves a pat on the back for the efficiency of their work over the week – and remembering they also put in a shift several weeks ago when the national championships were moved south late in the day from Lake Karapiro and then add in the South Island Secondary Schools Championships and the South Island Junior Regatta.
That’s a lot of mahi for one regatta season.