Team NZ pitches in to give grassroots Christchurch sailing club a hand 'off the canvas'
When Nigel Humphreys tapped Grant Dalton on the shoulder he didn't think it could have quite the impact on his grassroots yacht club that it did.
The Emirates Team New Zealand chief executive was in Christchurch to celebrate the America's Cup victory with a parade in July when Humphreys, whom he had never met, approached him.
"He was signing autographs for kids inside the art gallery and I just literally, well not literally his shoulder, but [I tapped] his bicep and said 'Can I have a word with you?'."
Humphreys is on the committee of and a life member at Christchurch's Pleasant Point Yacht Club, which is in the process of fundraising to rebuild its premises.
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Club members were no strangers to disaster after their building was written-off when it sank about a metre during the September 2010 earthquake, Humphreys said.
Last year, a suspected arson attack destroyed a portable toilet and caused smoke damage to the club's equipment stored in shipping containers at South New Brighton Park.
When Humphreys approached Dalton at the parade all he had hoped for was to see if he had any contacts "who might be interested in helping a grassroots yacht club get off the canvas".
But, upon hearing what Humphreys had to say, Dalton "actually went straight out the back and asked for a [television] camera", Humphreys said.
Speaking to media, Dalton said he "read about it and we all felt for them" when the quake destroyed the Pleasant Point Yacht Club.
"I was just talking to one of the organisers who's trying to get the club back up and running and it's that sort of spirit that I think, as a team, we embody. The can-do attitude.
"We just want to see the Pleasant Point Yacht Club back up and running as soon as possible."
In August, Team NZ let Humphreys' club know it would deviate from a regional tour of the country to help with fundraising efforts in the city.
"An evening with Emirates Team New Zealand" was planned and is due to take place on Saturday.
Tickets are still available for people who want to hear the team's story, meet members and see the America's Cup up close.
Various prizes are also being auctioned, from helicopter rides with All Blacks great Richie McCaw to holiday packages.
Proceeds will go towards the $1 million needed for a new building on the site the club first occupied when it launched nearly 100 years ago.
"We were established in 1921 at Pleasant Point Domain, which is the old name for South New Brighton Park," Humphreys said.
"The name Pleasant Point Yacht Club goes right back to when they started."