Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Earthquake strikes a day before yachting season opening

Pleasant Point Yacht Club after the Christchurch earthquake. Supplied image.

by Nigel Humphreys

The first 7.1 earthquake early on the morning of Saturday the 4th of September caused significant damage to the clubrooms and grounds of Pleasant Point Yacht Club in Christchurch and the subsequent aftershocks have continued the process.

Located on Rat Island Reserve on the banks of the Avon River, Pleasant Point sails the sheltered waters of the Avon Heathcote Estuary.

With its 90th season opening programmed for 1pm on Sunday the 5th of September, Club members were due to turn out for a final working bee on the Saturday morning, however, mother nature intervened and all the Club’s plans went out the window.

After the initial shock of dealing with the quake’s effects at their own homes, several committee members made their way through the broken streets of Christchurch to the Club to be greeted by a very sorry sight.

The sealed driveway is pot marked with fissures and liquefaction eruptions, while the three concrete launching ramps are torn apart and at different levels.

Paths that once butted to the building now sit 200-300 mm away, the septic tank (the Club is not on the cities sewer system) is now protruding from the ground and the riverside retaining walls have been pushed out.

Inside the force of the earthquake is also evident.

The original 1960s built concrete block clubrooms has been added to over the years. These additions were done in three or four sections and these sections have been torn apart.

The latest addition, the 8-year-old rescue boat shed remains intact but a 150mm gap had opened up between this shed and the main clubrooms.
Inside the clubrooms, the floor between the early section and a later section has separated and dropped, while the block walls over a kitchen bench and in the men’s changing rooms have opened up.

The lower floor and the wooden mezzanine floor both have obvious slopes to the southwest.

The Club has lived on this site since 1929 and many hours of Club members labour has built the area to what it was before mother nature dealt to it on Saturday morning.

The Committee met last Tuesday to discuss the situation and work through the next steps to take. Last Wednesday the insurance assessor was on site and has confirmed the building is a right off.

The Club has a small membership, but they are loyal and resilient and plans are already underway to re-establish a new Clubhouse on the site and the Club’s representatives will soon be talking to the Christchurch City Council about the process.

Yachting New Zealand