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From the Wheelhouse

January 2020

Whilst the festive season was in full swing, I skipped the December bulletin but will catch up in this release.
With the New Year already in its second month it’s hard to look back on the Christmas and New Year break when we are now talking about Easter. On the other hand, it was nice to relax and not have to rush off to meetings and results for three weeks. This bliss came to an abrupt halt on Saturday the 11th January with Keel Boat Results. I was pleasantly surprised as all the fleets had good numbers.
Welcome back and I’m looking forward to the challenges over the next few months.

Back to business:

Review of Strategic Plan
The Management Committee sat for the 2nd round of discussion to review the 2015/2020 strategic plan on Monday evening. It is quite interesting when you overlay the last survey and the strategic plan. I am pleased to report members and staff have met most of the criteria set down in the document. Well done to all.
Yes, there will be another survey - I know we all grumble, but these are important tools used to review our direction in maintaining our Clubs’ facilities and providing an environment we can all enjoy in our leisure time. For me it has been a huge learning curve researching the changes in the way all Clubs, not necessarily Yacht Clubs, are changing to enable time for members to use the facilities. There is also the suggestion we may need to become more community minded. This way we can introduce programmes to include the locals with a spin off to increase our membership.

As I suggested the updating of the Clubs Policies and Rules is a large task and at the January meeting we all needed to review the minutes of our last meeting and refresh our minds. The committee will sit down with the General Manager over the next weeks with a spread sheet outlining all the club’s policies and rules and see how they can be linked into groups.
The annex lease is still under review with more documentation required from the lessee. We envisage this to be finalised by March.
The Finance Committee has reviewed the Finance Policy Manual. This has been perused by the staff and Management Committee and is in the final stages. The document will be tabled at the February meeting for Management adoption.
There has been an extensive overhaul of the Grand Sponsors policy document. The paper was presented at their meeting. The committee have reviewed this and have asked for clarification on a few matters. We hope to resolve these issues and adopt the policy.

The Treasurer seemed content with the YTD (Year to Date) figures in comparison to the budget, but then went on to say trading figures were down in December although we had a strong November. This was reflected in the liquor and Club Functions. This may be due to the very hot weather we were experiencing early in the month. The F&B manager will be asked what ideas she may have about how she can improve our quieter months. Committee has been encouraged to think of ideas on how we could turn this around. The 2020/2021 functions calendar is filling with early booking for weddings - hopefully this will generate revenue enabling us to continue our improvements and maintenance plan.
The introduction of more effective debt control has had a successful outcome with the figures showing a marked improvement.

Membership has remained steady. I’m interested to see this month figures, as the membership Chairman has been busy with new member induction evenings. Membership has a huge bearing on the Club’s finances and looking at forecasts and graphs, the membership line controls the Food and beverage profit and loss i.e. as the membership increases so do our profits.

We have finally received the approval from DBCA (Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions) for Jetty one wave attenuator. We can now finalise the contract and set the date to commence. The Food and Beverage manager has requested we hold off on starting works on the Quarterdeck until May as there are functions booked in this area.
There is a very large workload in this area, and I would like to thank the members who have put their hands up to support the Works Chairman in overseeing the various projects.

Some of you may or may not be aware, but the forthcoming summer season Opening Day will fall in our 75th Anniversary Year with our establishment date being 18th December, 1945. This is a major milestone in any Club history. House, together with the Functions Committee have formed a group to plan events to mark the anniversary. If you have any ideas, I’m sure Vice Commodore Cookie will be interested. Over the last 12 months or so the House Committee had embarked on a rebranding mission - this was to bring all the section burgees in line with a common theme. Grand Sponsor Chairperson, Cally Browning volunteered to undertake the project which is in the final stages. Now, with our 75th in our sights, we will require branding for this. Thanks to Cally, who quickly drafted a new design - this will be posted for viewing on the various notice boards around the Club for your comments. There has been a move away from the traditional naval theme to a more contemporary look so please take the time to have a look.

General business
At the December meeting the committee looked at the various names put forward to rename ‘Checkpoint” One suggestion was voted on but we soon learnt Royal Perth Yacht Club had a similar craft with the same name so, for safety reasons we searched again.
Some years ago, the Management Committee made a resolution not to name equipment with people’s names, instead using prominent landmarks, so the decision has now been made to rename “Check Point” “Heathcote” Thank you to everyone who took part in helping to rename her.
The Fremantle City Council have asked for expressions of interested clubs on the river to host a timber boat flotilla in May as part of the Australian Heritage Festival. After discussion we have agreed to participate.

Australian Sailing (AS) Affiliation Fees
This has become quite a touchy subject. Several years ago Australian Sailing produced a banding model that assesses the Clubs on three criteria
  • Professional management
  • 100,000.00 total revenue
  • 200 total members
We have been assessed as a Category A and band 2 club. This means, along with the other major WA clubs, SoPYC is in the upper spectrum of fee payers in WA and around the country. Under the Agreement that exists between Yachting WA and AS members contributions head East to pay for the services provided by AS from Sydney.
There is a general level of dissatisfaction amongst the WA clubs and our kindred clubs interstate about the contributions being paid without adequate justification or a “value proposition” by Australian Sailing supporting the services offered to sailors. Several meetings have been conducted with the most recent in January 2020. The Australian Sailing CEO was present as was the WA board member of AS, and they were left in no doubt as to the mood of the WA clubs about the AS model and the lack of information coming from AS to justify the proposed fee structure over the next four years.
As the member body of AS, the YWA Board is continuing the discussion with AS, having received a strong direction from WA Clubs who in turn are members of YWA. As more information becomes available I will inform members where I can.

Pens and moorings
Chairman Brian Cross has been working on reviewing the marina manual, shore power policy and emergency procedure guide which are all very important documents, drafts have been presented for feedback.
Casual Pen Rental was discussed and left on the table for more thought and consideration.
Marina Vessel Participation was also discussed as statistics suggest that of the 475 vessels in water pen holders, only 100 are actively involved in events and committees. The committee is looking at ways to encourage greater participation on the water.
Thank you for your interest.
The committee is working hard on your behalf and continues to do so.

John Midolo
SoPYC Commodore
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