A Message from Graeme Sheldon

November 23, 2016

Dear Member,

I thought it appropriate to give you an update of some recent and imminent changes to your club.

Sadly, Darren Casey advised the board of his intention to step down from President due the excessive demands of his business commitments and time constraints. He is into his 5th term on the board and 4th term as President. In his own words: “Being the president of our club and being effective in this role does consume a considerable amount of time and it has become evident to me that my respect for the position of president means I must step down from this appointment.”

Darren has done an amazing job as President. He has initiated and overseen so many positive changes to our Club, many which are obvious from the visual changes to our clubhouse, but many others not so obvious such as our vastly improved financial situation; his leadership to the Board of Directors to develop as a team, focused and like-minded with the common goal of taking our sport and our Club forward in so many ways. He has been a pleasure to work with and I know the same feelings are from our CEO and our other board members.

The whole Board are pleased that Darren will still be available to advise on aspects he was previously overseeing as we continue to value his thoughts, ideas and contribution.

Darren and the Board have asked me to take on the position of President. I am happy to accept this position. I am also very happy to announce that Committee Member Dave Slingsby has accepted the position of Vice President. These changes have been unanimously endorsed by your Board. Dave and I will fill these positions until then next AGM when both positions will be up for election as per the triennial rule and our Constitution.

So, on behalf of the Board, all our Club members and certainly from myself, I sincerely thank Darren for his enormous contribution.

The refurbishment and changes to our Clubhouse are continuing. In brief these include:

  • The Boatshed Bar is under construction now to transform it from the temporary bar it has been to a modern and appealing professionally designed bar and room. The new floor was completed last week. Ceiling panels are under construction, as is a new bar. Beer lines are in place ready to be connected to the new bar. New furniture arrived last week, with a little more to arrive shortly.
  • Preparation of a DA for the proposed large outdoor deck over the water from the Boatshed Bar is almost complete. This is quite an exercise as it incorporates Crown Lands, Council, environmental and engineering issues. We had a preliminary meeting with Council a few weeks ago to ensure we get the DA right the first time. We are hopeful the DA will be approved in the first quarter of the New Year, and the deck built during the winter months.

The recent Black Tie Ball was a fabulous success. The concept was a fun night where we could get dressed up, have fun and raise funds for a newer race management and start vessel. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it and everyone I have spoken to who went said it was just a great night. We will do it again next year.

The Ball raised a total profit of over $12,000 that all goes towards the new boat. We have a separate bank account for these funds, that now totals over $35,000, so we are making real progress towards our goal of $65000 to purchase a suitable vessel.

Special thanks go to those who made the Ball such a success. These include Darren Casey, who initiated the idea, Paul Gulliksen, Andrew Grimwood, Dave Slingsby (who was also MC), Robin Denton and our CEO Richard Croker who were the organisers, Liesl Tesch our guest speaker and Tim Andrews who ran a most entertaining auction of items from a P&O cruise, outdoor furniture, boat slip and antifoul, large smart TV etc etc. Thanks to all who supported the evening.

Lastly, most significantly and most recently, I would like to introduce our new caterer. Latitude 33 (as most know it), have sold and as of today have left our Club.

I am happy to introduce Grant Goldsmith as the head chef and manager of catering. The new catering is under the name of SPINNAKERS BRASSERIE. There will be some significant changes. Most significantly will be that the fine dining restaurant will be removed and the space will become part of the members and guests lounge. This and other changes will be rolled out over time, as Grant will be busy with the many functions booked until Christmas. Almost a function every day or second day.

Grant comes from a strong background in the industry as a senior chef at the substantial Epping Club.

Personally, I am impressed with Grant and his Company management (his Dad, Chris Goldsmith, an accountant and board member of several companies). They have been very professional and a pleasure to deal with and we look forward to building a strong business partnership with them.

Please give Grant and his team some consideration and patience as he finds his feet hitting the ground running flat out up to Christmas.

Our Club looks to have a bright future. Trading figures and membership (sailing and social membership) continue to improve and are better than last year’s. We attribute these increases in trading and membership figures to the excellent management by our CEO Richard Croker and his team, the efforts of our Sailing Manager Peter Walsh, and the improvements to our Clubhouse. As our club returns to strong financial health (as it is heading) we look forward to using profits for our key reason for being……..SAILING.

My thanks to you all.

Graeme Sheldon



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