The following letter has been received from the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria:
We at the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria (ORCV) are asking for your help to raise awareness of our a fund raising initiative for relief work in Vanuatu after the devastation of Cyclone Pam.
The ORCV have a ten year history with our Pacific Neighbour since we conducted our first 1,885 nautical mile international ocean yacht race from Melbourne to Vanuatu in 2006. During preparation for that first race it became clear that we could do something more than just bring our much needed tourist dollar to the people of Vanuatu. Consequently for each of the Melbourne to Vanuatu races in 2006, 2010 and 2014, we have also filled and despatched a shipping container with humanitarian aid, from generators, computers, clothing to school books, which was distributed by yachts to villages in Vanuatu during their cruising after the race. The aid has been much appreciated and I invite you to visit our Humanitarian Aid blog (http://orcv.org.au/index.php/vanuatu-humanitarian-aid) and one YouTube clip (https://youtu.be/V6FiljP-j0U).
In fact one of our ORCV “Ocean Girls”, Deb Allen remained in Vanuatu after crewing on the yacht Escapade in the 2014 race. As a dentist, Deb was using her skills and long service leave, volunteering to improve oral health, but has now stepped up to disaster relief. Whilst our humanitarian aid has always been welcome, the needs of the moment are more basic, water, sanitation, food and shelter. The ORCV have partnered with Oxfam Australia to assist that aid agency in their amazing life giving work. They are after all experts in this field but they need our cash.
Apart from the ORCV Melbourne to Vanuatu International Ocean Yacht Race, Vanuatu has long been a popular cruising destination for yachts from all over Australia and other countries and yachties have a natural affinity for the Vanuatu people who are so connected to the water.
We have declared Saturday 11th April, 2015 as Yachties 4 Vanuatu Day and have asked that Victorian yachties join their clubs on Saturday April 11th to raise funds and donate through the www.yachties4vanuatu.com which redirects to a secure Oxfam Fundraising site. For yacht clubs at the northern end of Port Phillip Bay, we are encouraging their members to come together for the last race of the Club Marine Series that day or simply go to their clubs for a BBQ and a beer but always donate, donate.
The ORCV is a not-for-profit, mostly volunteer based organisation and time is short so our ask of you is please help us publicise this worthwhile venture. Victorian Yacht Club’s who have already confirmed their support with various fundraising activities include:
- Ocean Racing Club of Victoria
- Sandringham Yacht Club
- Hobsons Bay Yacht Club
- Royal Brighton Yacht Club
- Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron
- Royal Yacht Club of Victoria
- Blairgowrie Yacht Club
- Mornington Yacht Club
- Queenscliff Cruising Yacht Club
- Yachting Victoria.
Ideally we would like to see other yacht clubs across the country join our efforts and donate but we need your help to get the word out to our fellow yachties. We feel that we could make a real difference to these wonderful people so please have a look at our website (http://orcv.org.au/index.php/vanuatu-humanitarian-aid-blog/4431-yachties-4-vanuatu-day-saturday-11-april-2015) and think about how you can use your influence to help.
If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or call me (0412 459 271) our volunteer Media Manager Jennifer McGuigan on 0408 321 352.
Neville Rose, Commodore