The Yachtsman 2017-2018 RPAYC Yachtsman 2016-2017 - Page 10

GENERAL MANAGER SESQUICENTENNIAL YEAR O n 15 October last year we marked the beginning of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s Sesquicentennial year with the unveiling of the entry sculpture. Throughout the year there have been a number of celebrations and commemorations to ensure the spirit and meaning of this poignant occasion are known and appreciated by all members and the sailing and local community. While the year has been littered with development works to ensure the Club looks its best for the 150th finale, the most enduring work has been undertaken by the Archives Committee. Committee members have been hard at work ensuring that the Club’s archives are being sorted, catalogued, preserved and displayed. It isn’t unusual for Rob Cole, David West, David Kennedy and Julia Hornsby to spend five days a week toiling away in their new fire rated archive room (if you don’t know them, they are usually the ones wearing white gloves). As they work through this mammoth project, they are ensuring that the wonderful history of the RPAYC remains alive and communicated by bringing the history to the members through a series of story boards that have been erected in many locations around the Club – known as the History Walk. My favourite is the Boatyard board which shows efforts of some of the Club’s forbears physically working to build the first slipway on the Green Point site. This really shows today’s young members that this wonderful Club is what it is today, because of the very hard work of many before them! Soon the empty back corridor will be adorned with a History Wall – a snap shot chronology of the RPAYC’s 150 years. This is an ideal way to communicate to the new generations who like to consume information in short sharp bites rather than wade through history books. Speaking of ‘(tall) stories’, the Sesquicentennial Old Timer’s Race saw a record number of boats participating in the race and over 200 Old Timers and friends who joined the lunch, and told many ‘tall tales’. The highlight of the day was to have Jack Gale on board Alfreds I as the guest Race Officer. Jack had a wonderful day out on the water and enjoyed the stories retold afterwards at the lunch – many of which he featured in. It was special that he was able to catch up with so many of his old friends and acquaintances at lunch – he was in great form and thoroughly enjoyed the day. As well as a number of commemorative regattas, many social events have also taken place to reunite members and celebrate the Club’s history, such as the Back to Alfreds Youth Development (YD) alumni party. This event celebrated 23 years of YD at RPAYC and recognised the wonderful achievements of this group and the many champions who are products of the program which include Olympians, World Champions and, of course, America’s Cup winners. The Old Timer’s Day became even more poignant after the Club lost Jack soon after on 7 July (two years to the day after losing his beloved Joan). While it was sad to lose him, he was ready to go. All Club members, the staff and the entire yachting community were so privileged to have known such a wonderful character. While we all mourn his passing, we celebrate his wonderful life, his very special character (which made us all feel we were special to him too) and the great contributions he made to the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Robbie and Geoff Gale are planning a memorial service to be held at the Club on Thursday 14 September which will close another chapter in the RPAYC’s long history which Jack was such an integral part of. Preparations for the Sesquicentennial Senior’s Lunch are underway which will recognise all members in the Senior membership categories totalling in excess of 230 While we have seen growth in our race fleets in recent seasons, this year we have seen a flattening and in some cases decline in average fleet sizes. The weather hasn’t As I write, there are 17 boats away on the Sesquicentennial Coral Coast Cruise and more are on their way. This will be one of RPAYC’s biggest long off shore cruises. 8 members. No doubt there will be many memories and stories shared at this event. YACHT SMAN