Firstly, belated Happy New Year to all Members.
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is over for another year with records smashed, personal milestones achieved, over 1 million Facebook views and the most extensive live, international coverage of the race ever.
A full list of all winners from the 1 January Prize Giving ceremony is available on the race website.
It really is a boat race with so many human interest stories - David and Goliath-style boats on the same sporting stage, families sailing together for the first time, people returning for a second attempt after retiring deflated in 2015, and sailors dedicating the race to loved ones lost since last year’s race. Many stories go unreported and are simply shared in quiet moments when you greet the boats which the Commodore, Vice-Commodore and I tried to do as each boat docked.
One story I particularly liked took place on New Year’s Eve after all were ‘home’ safely.
Despite political and cultural differences, Chinese, South Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese sailors, families and friends gathered in darkness on ARK323 with a guitar (and a broken boom) and found songs all could sing along to - a testimony to how sport is a great leveller.
The Club has made many new international friendships with this year’s race and we look forward to increased participation in the years to come, from South-East Asia in particular.
Next up on the agenda is the club refurbishment.
We hope to commence work on the annex in April to have the administration staff relocated and settled in time for the 2017 RSHYR when the Clippers will once again be joining us.
Next week, Friday 13 will see Jessica Barr, our Marina Administrator, leaving us to return to the Navy. I’ve received nothing but positive comments about Jess and she will be missed. Her capable replacement Max Leonard (who I’m sure is tired of hearing about the big shoes he must fill) who joined us from Hamilton Island. Max has had the benefit of shadowing Jess over the past month which as you all know is a challenging one on the Marina.
We all wish Jess the very best in her new role and will continue to see her around the club as a sailor during the twilight series which is great news. Please welcome Max, especially when he flies solo from 14 January.
Also, Duty Supervisor Jack Lehel, is leaving the Club on January 15, with Liam Kentwell stepping up into the role.
Volunteers ‘Thank You’ function
On Tuesday 31 January, from 6:30pm-8pm, is the annual Volunteers and staff ‘Thank You’ function in the Freya Room. Invitations will be sent out to those volunteers and staff in due course.
I’m taking some R&R myself over the next couple of weeks, so before I go I would like to thank the Commodore, the Board, staff, contractors, sponsors and volunteers for getting me through my first RSHYR. Together we produced a world class event that all of us can be proud of!
Chief Executive Officer