With the exception of the East London race, all races as per the sailing calendar were completed. The two long distance races The Great Circle and the St. Francis where held in perfect sailing conditions and importantly with a good turn-out of boats. The Rebels Series (J27-s, Pacer & L26) enjoyed good racing on Saturday afternoons on predominantly windward leeward courses.
Algoa Bay Week enjoyed a good entry of boats, with a small group of 505-s from Guateng joining in. Of the 5 days available 1 day was lost to inclement weather; otherwise the regatta sailed in a variety of wind conditions. At the end of each days sailing the Club enjoyed a variety of entertainment from “Belly Dancers” to an array of musicians.
Dinghy sailing sadly is not where it should be in terms of numbers, frequency of sailing and variety of Classes. During the late part of the summer a very successful Optimist week was held as part of the SA Selection, 30 youngsters and their parents from all over SA converged on the ABYC. For many of these sailors sailing on the sea coupled with entry via a working harbour was a first and rather daunting experience – nothing like a bit of peer pressure to overcome. The Clubs very own Jesse Martin plus a group of 6 other youngsters are currently sailing in the Optimist Worlds being held in London. Sarah Arnold who is at university in the Cape is still staying out front in her regattas with a 1st in the Sonnet Nationals; 1st WP Sonnet Provincials, and a 2nd in the J22 World Qualify which unfortunately only accept one team per country.
Radio Control sailing or RC as it is called have been sailing most week-ends off the wall at the Club. Their numbers are growing and have in excess of 20 plus sailors. During the past season the PE group enjoyed a fun week-end down at Wilderness challenging their Western Cape counterparts (the Wilderness community have only just recovered from the invasion, it is said that all fish and bird life vacated the river where the sailing took place, and thankfully the recent good rains have flushed the area).
Wednesday Night sailing enjoyed a somewhat mixed affair with not many races but at least boats casting off moorings. The number of boats varied from Wednesday to Wednesday and according to weather conditions. Once again our gratitude to Phil Gutsche for always making the good ship Warrior available for the surplus guests.
Assistance is requested for people to assist and/or be part of the sailing committee with special emphasis on junior/dinghy sailing, committee boat and race officer duties, and managing the qwagga-s, or in any other way. Please contact John 082 854 3961.
SOUTH AFRICAN SAILING
To a few, membership to SAS is a waste of time and money. This may be the case if you are an ABYC member that does not own a boat and is not really interested in a “sailing ranking”. For the many boat owners and regular sailors, without SAS, sailing in South Africa would not have the enviable safety record which she holds. Sailing enjoys very little interference from the maritime regulator and watch-dog SAMSA. So successful is the safety programme of SAS that SAMSA are requesting SAS and SAS approved Safety Officers at the various Yacht Clubs to also carry-out power-boat safety inspections. The point is that in order to keep this kind of relationship requires funding. SAS are also currently changing their data base system and making it more accessible and user friendly to members, the system mirrors that of the cycling fraternity. What the new data system will encourage is for yacht owners and their crews to sail in more regattas both in local waters and that of other clubs, boats will now be able to measure their performance against other boats at other clubs. SAS continue to strengthen their presence at junior and development sailing so much so they have a full time Training Officer, whose task is to assist clubs with the implementation of various programmes. To be able to do all this requires people with unique skills and dedication and funding (SAS fees). SASEC under which ABYC falls will in future be know as SASSER (SAS Southern and Eastern Region).
The Marina thankfully is now restored and secure. The Marina team managed to salvage several fingers and spines which sunk during the 2009 bashing, and returned them back into service saving thousands of rands. Finger spacing-s have almost been finalised. Similarly the “replacement” programme has begun which is proving somewhat of an exercise as the existing structure needs continual maintenance.
The revised final draft “User Agreement” should be expected for release anytime soon. However, it must be remembered that the original user agreement is still in place and no separation or break-away from PEDSAC has been finalised.
Whilst its good news with the lifting of water restrictions, the Club appeals to boat owners when washing boats to please continue using fresh water with discipline and assist with keeping down over-head costs.
Another general appeal to boat owners is to please keep the gate onto the Marina closed (except when the RC-s and other activities are taking place), and to stay vigilant at all times especially after-hours, we have had outboard engines, fuel tanks, loose boat fittings and tenders going to new locations, as this newsletter goes out, 2 yachts where broken into plus several boats at the PEDSAC Marina.
Through out the past season the House committee arranged successful functions in the Club. From quiz/test your knowledge to full on “rock n- roll” evenings. Like previous seasons prize giving this year was equally great. Still fresh in many minds was the Bogtrotters with their Irish Folk music for the Jesse Martin fund raiser.
Many members don-t realise that the House Committee is not only there to organise functions, but they play a pivotal role in keeping checks on both the bar/deck and Chartroom in terms of service levels and general customer satisfaction and identify ways for improving.
As mentioned earlier, the Chartroom has in a very short period gone from strength to strength. Nick and Jon as young as they are have produced winning formulae and stuck with it. The community of PE are hearing about the Chartroom and are also noticing the general turn-around of the ABYC, people are returning. Menu prices are on the mark and the quality of the meals is of consistently high standard which will even impress Gordon. A busy Chartroom equals a busy bar/deck equals a busy club which equals potential new members and crew.
At the recent 52 AGM of the Yacht Club the minutes where presented and adopted along with the financials. The President informed the meeting the stance of the Club regarding the rental and the status of the on-going negotiations between the Club and Port Authorities, and comparisons to other Yacht Clubs.
The new executive committee was accepted by all present. A vote of thanks and appreciation to out going Commodore Ian Littlejohn was given.
A Special General Meeting was held prior to the start of AGM where the following 3 proposal were presented and adopted by all present:
- The recognition of Radio Controlled Yachting as a sport within the Club,
- The recognition of Kite Board Sailing as a sport within the Club, and
- The approval of the new Annual Subscriptions and Membership.
Both Radio Controlled and Kite Board Sailing are recognized by SAS, both the sports have been showing growth. ABYC will be the 1st Yacht Club in SA to recognise Kite Board Sailing as an integral aspect to club sailing. In PE alone there are over 100 Kite Boards. Within a year the number of RC sailors at the Club has grow to in excess of 20 (they also fast learners to basic concepts i.e. size counts and “move it or lose it”).
In a bold attempt to encourage membership the Club has taken a radical approach and restructured the membership categories and the subscriptions as follows:
- JUNIOR – R450.00
- FULL – R1500.00
- PENSIONER – R850.00
- LIFE & HONORARY MEMBERS – remain as current and in future will be considered only on exceptional circumstances.
The implementation of the new structure and levy is immediate. Re-imbursement to members who already paid in full at the old rate will be paid out of a time frame (donations are always welcome). As mentioned at the presentation that there is a financial shortfall in the Clubs levy income, members are urged to make all attempts to bring in new members and not to rely on the “Recruitment Team”.
LIPTON CUP 2011 (21 – 27 August 2011 Mossel Bay)
Vice Commodore – Sailing