Entertaining consequences arising from the lack of a dedicated gatekeeper

by | 13 Jan 2009 | Regatta 2009 | 0 comments

Mahurangi Regatta 2006 from Casnell Is

Fair Dues: The gatekeepers would even be forgiven if they ducked down the causeway to watch the start from Casnell Island. photographer Max Cumming 2006

The cushiest job going at the Mahurangi Regatta is unquestionably that of gatekeeper at Scotts Landing.

It comes complete with:

  • Kiwiana bach accommodation
  • personal parking space
  • Bastion Point ‍–‍style regatta vantage

Curiously, the position has gone wanting year after year, resulting in delays and unnecessary legwork for folks otherwise ill-spared from their appointed posts.

Possibly the most entertaining consequence stemming from the lack of gatekeeper was when word went around the prize-giving dance that:

The blind vocalist’s driven off the road!

The vocalist had left a little ahead of the last few encores, only to discover the gate was locked. Rather than attempt to turn, which is difficult even in the daylight, the vocalist’s driver had attempted to reverse back the entire half-kilometre length of the driveway. Alas, the narrowness of the driveway finally took its toll, after getting most of the way back to the marquee and the festivities.

Volunteers were called for, using the bandleader’s microphone. The response was instantaneous, although not the one the editor had anticipated, a no-nonsense sailor ordering:

You’ll play us another number, then we’ll pull your mate out!

The crowd utterly concurred, and the blind vocalist sat alone through the final encore, unsure as to how much indigenous vegetation was preventing his car taking a shortcut down to the beach.

The band having more than filled its end of the bargain, a crew of well-lubricated young sailors strode off to the rescue. Fortunately for the vocalist’s car, Friends of the Mahurangi treasurer (an older and wiser, and ex-navy, tar) anticipated what was about to unfold (namely, the car) and barked (or is it barque’d):

Hold fast—you’ll have the panels off ’er!

He was right. The little car’s bodywork would have been radically re-styled without Bradlaugh’s intervention.

We’ll just heave her stern ’round; she’ll back ’erself up ont’ road.

Which it did—after the back of the car, which weighed nothing, was readily lifted around to a more promising direction.

 

Memo to gatekeeper Introduce yourself to Prohibition Big Band’s leader Trevor Thwaites, as he arrives—distinguished-looking gentleman and a scholar (head of school of arts, languages and literacies, actually) with sparkling eyes and ready smile.

And ask him to call for you over the sound system before any of his musicians head off into the night—blind or otherwise.

The valiant volunteers

The morning before
Friday 23 January, Scotts Landing

1
Gatekeeper 10 am (can be job-shared)
2
Scott Homesteaders [two to hand, Paul and Jilly Deacon setting up Paul’s exhibition of marine art]

The afternoon before
Friday 23 January, Scotts Landing

1
Electrician

The afternoon before
Friday 23 January, Sullivans Bay

4
Small marquee erectors 3 pm [one to hand]
2
Buoy-Layers 

The morning of
Saturday 24 January, Sullivans Bay

1
Information & Publications, dispensing of, from the comfort of the small marqee)
1
Tractor Ground Crew
1
Announcer
2
Starters
4
Finishers
2
Dispatch Runners
1
Master of the Mahurangi boatswain
1
Augustin Sea Bear Kayak Cup boatswain

The afternoon of
Saturday 24 January, Sullivans Bay

1
Information & Publications
1
Announcer
2
Starters
4
Finishers
5
Sandcastle Supervisors
2
Sandcastle Judge
2
Dispatch Runners
1
Tug of War Boatswain

The evening of
Saturday 24 January, Scotts Landing

1
Minibus Driver
6
Bar Tenders [three to hand]
2
Bottle Scouts, can be small and fleet of foot
8
Cooks & Galley Hands [two to hand]
1
Janitor

The morning after
Sunday 25 January, Scotts Landing

8
Cleanup [one to hand]

 

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