Well, it was an inglorious finish to what has been a pretty average season on the water for many of our sailing members. Friday Keel Boat Twilight races were regularly unable to be raced due to Gale Warnings. The second half of the OTB season was affected similarly and the Juniors were rarely able to get out on Sunday mornings due to difficult conditions. It was a season that offered so much but rarely delivered, however, as sailors, we recognise that we participate in a sport that requires a window of weather opportunity and some seasons are better than others, so it seemed fitting that the premature end to our season was taken out of our hands with the restrictions due to COVID-19 increasing to the point that beaches have been closed and gatherings banned, making sailing impossible.
As a committee we have had to adapt to this new normal and we conducted a meeting last Thursday via Zoom. This meeting was really an opportunity to get together and discuss how we as a club can move forward from here. The reality is, no-one really knows what is ahead of us and I’m pleased to say that we have adopted a glass half full approach to our current circumstances with our goal last meeting, to set the agenda for our next properly constituted meeting on this Thursday. Some of the things up for consideration and discussion are:
- extending the 2020/21 sailing season for a further 4 weeks
- re-instating the club funny money for season 20/21 to help stimulate participation after sailing
- financial plans to help those members that might have been financially affected during this crisis
- AGM dates and planning
- Presentation dates and planning
For those who visited the club on the last weekend of sailing, you would have noticed that the bar works are well underway. We hit a couple of road bumps, but these have since been resolved and I’m happy to report that provided all businesses are not placed into a lockdown and the Shire shut its doors, we will be able to continue with our building program unabated. The timing for this to continue is pretty good for the club given we have no bookings going forward which will hopefully mean we have no delays in finishing these works for the commencement of the winter season.
There is no doubt that the club will take a financial hit, with lower bookings of the facility, no rent coming in from our caterer during this time and the potential for less members re-joining (as being a member of our club is ostensibly a discretionary spend). What we would like to say to members is, when invoices come out for the new financial year, we ask that the best thing you can do for the club is to re-join as soon as you financially can. Due to fantastic planning and effort from our Treasurer Graeme Ainslie, the club has secured an incredible financial result this season, with approximately a $79k surplus for this season to date. Much of this result has come down to the management of our utilities and lowering our outgoings by $17k. Much of these funds will be spent on the renovations with the committee voting unanimously in favour to add the fireplace and to other projects that will require significant funds to facilitate necessary upgrades to our building.
Yachting Australia are looking into ways of supporting Yacht Clubs through this period and are looking into the possibility that Affiliation fees are lowered and possibly suspended for the 20/21 season and we’ll look to negotiate with the Shire a lower rental rate for the coming year.
A big shout out to the Lazzar family (except Grace) who have been self-isolating after returning from Hawaii. Grace did mention to me that she has told her family to be nice as she is the only one who can drive at the moment and is their lifeline to the outside world! A shout out also to Tim Bardon, who is learning the importance of drinking plenty of water, we hope you’ve fully recovered Tim. A shout out also to Rosemary Hague, generally a permanent fixture around the club on race days but was not cited on the last couple of weeks racing. We hope you’re well Rosemary after your recent accident. Our thoughts go to Evie and Barry Tanner on the recent passing of Evie’s mother, to you both, our sincere condolences.
I’d like to acknowledge the work of Ciaran Snooks, Natasha Martin and Grace Lazzar who have done an exceptional job in building the junior group to a regular level of enthusiastic young kids. The entire club should congratulate this group for putting the club before their own needs every Sunday morning. whilst the weather has not been kind nor conducive to junior sailing most Sundays, the leadership group have always found a way to keep the kids entertained. The recent acquisition of the “Hiking Laser Kit” saw a fantastic competition between the kids to see who could hike the longest. It’s clear to see who sails on a Tasar! Unfortunately, the camp out event at the club will need to be postponed, but I think that the kids and they are all great kids, will be back at the club enjoying each other’s company again in no time.
To our caterer, David and Deirdre Snooks, the committee simply asks that you support these guys during this time. The club is doing its bit by suspending rent until this blows over, but if you’re passing the canteen on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, buy a coffee and a scone!
Stay safe one and all and before we know it, we’ll be back down at the club, in what will be a wonderful amenity to be enjoyed for many years to come.
(On behalf of the Executive Committee)
Compass 30' aground at Safety Beach
Prior to a dramatic re-floating exercise at the noon high tide off Safety Beach on Saturday 21st March 2020, this 30’Compass from Hastings had spent two overnights aground near the BP service Station on Marine Drive. She had passed through the Port Phillip Heads overnight, then dropped anchor off Safety Beach to rest there before dragging her anchor at 3am on Thursday morning 19th March in a strong westerly onshore blow.
The successful re-float was eventually achieved by one Hastings powerboat (attached to the main masthead halyard) and three crew standing in waist deep water (as pictured). The Compass 30 was last seen sailing freely away towards St Kilda Marina via Mt Martha Point on Saturday afternoon. Possible damage to the keel and/or rudder were suspected, but unconfirmed by many S.B. locals and the police, who watched the desperate actions of the crew and their Hastings powerboat friends for two days. Apparently the boat’s owner and his wife had lived on board the Compass 30 in Hastings, but were moving to Melbourne hoping to obtain more work there.
Thankyou to Tom and Roma for this article on local happenings in Safety Beach
Changes to Sail Number Rules!
At the 2019 World Sailing meetings their Racing Rules Committee approved changes to the rules relating to sail numbers.
The changes introduce a requirement that numbers be of a contrasting colour to the body of the sail.
The changes approved apply to rules G1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 and can be seen in submission 216-19 HERE
The main thing that officials and boat owners need to know is that sail numbers will have to be of a contrasting colour. Boat owners who have sail numbers in a dark colour on a dark sail will need to have their sail numbers changed to something more contrasting by 1 January 2021. This problem is typically seen on ‘carbon’ sails.
Sail makers building new sails or doing repairs should also check the sail numbers and offer advice on whether the numbers need to be replaced with some of a contrasting colour.
Race officials serving on race, technical and protest committees may have to exercise some judgement when educating boat owners and crews on the upcoming rule change, and how to address it after 1 January 2021. Attention is drawn to G4 which guides a protest committee to warn and provide time to comply before penalising a boat.
Online Sail Racing!
Need a sailing fix? Then there are a couple of programs you can try:
Big thanks to Rod Smallman and Andrew Clark for these links