Mombasa Yacht Club has stood on the shores of the Kilindini Harbour for one hundred and ten years, in all that time it has provided sailing facilities, training, competition and social interaction for the members.
It is one of the first clubs of any type formed on the Mombasa coast and today it risks closing forever.
The history has been colourful and many people were members throughout the busy ex-patriot days in the building of Mombasa. Families and sailors of all ages have been at the heart of the club, so much so the lease for the land the club stands on was granted by the crown more than 50yrs ago on the understanding that it may only be used as a sailing club or the lease would be lost.
Years passed and many people who came to Mombasa took advantage of the club, it had always and will always belong to the members and is a registered society and not a business.
Of recent years the business model has changed and as there became less and less ex-patriots coming to work in Mombasa the membership dwindled. The decline led to the property falling into disrepair and only the interceding of one or two very pro-active Commodores helped to keep it going.
Sadly the number of Kenyans sailing has always been very low, several attempts at running training schemes have failed to produce a sustained number of sailors. For a time training was more substantial than today however, the majority of youngsters trained went abroad for education and never returned. We were effectively training sailors for clubs in the UK, Germany and Canada. Whilst that is sad for MYC we do hold it as a badge of honour as there have also been a few that have made careers in teaching sailing, running marinas and other associated tasks around the world. These people are all working in foreign countries they are earning and living much better than if they had stayed at home and never gone to MYC.
I have been personally involved in the club since 1995 and seen the fortunes decline year upon year, there have been one or two serious fraud events in the past 20 years and the last led me to offer to take the club on a Management contract. Starting with finances in the negative it took 18 months of focussed management to break even with considerable unpaid work by a small group of people. Just when we thought we were able to produce a surplus the recession hit Mombasa and a large number of companies moved to Nairobi. This led to yet another shortfall, then this pandemic came along and we have been forced to close our doors now for six weeks and it looks like it will be another six weeks before we can open. The reality is that this wonderful club that has provided services for Mombasa for one hundred and ten years will in all likelihood not open their doors again.
We are looking for financial support not just to re-open but to re-build the business so it can go back to doing what it was always supposed to do. We need to provide sail training to bring young people in and we need to do it in large numbers. We need to be able to run social events that will bring parents into the club, parents who will take an active interest in their children’s training and participation.
Funding we receives will go towards the following:
. Paying creditors who have been so very good and to us over the past two years
. Carrying out renovations to meet health requirements in our kitchens
. Initiating sail training and water safety education
. Attracting new members
. Creating alternative revenue streams to ensure the continuance of the club in future years
. Creating events that people from abroad can come and participate in.
The achievement of the above will also guarantee the continued employment of the fourteen staff who have served the club so very well.
The average income of our staff is approximately USD200 per month (USD7.50 per day) not a very high salary to raise a family on.
We have set a target of £15,000 to get the club open once more and a further target of £85,000 to create a sustainable project that will benefit Mombasa, develop sailing, create employment and with care leave a lasting legacy for future generations.
If you are able to assist in this funding to save this wonderful old sailing club, please do donate and we will be eternally grateful.
YOU CAN DIRECTLY DONATE USING OUR MPESA PAYBILL NUMBER 900150 IN THE ACCOUNT SECTION PLEASE WRITE "1910 FOLLOWED BY YOUR NAME" OR YOU CAN DIRECTLY DONATE USING OUR GO FUND ME CAMPAIGN FOLLOWING THE LINK BELOW: https://www.gofundme.com/f/44qfv-save-our-sailing-club?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1&fbclid=IwAR0L1K8qXVKTqCNyc8TYknDkRHgKuYD41Xg0Mudf_jWrgq-50pRYtfZr4IA