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From the Wheelhouse

February 2020

This months’ meeting started with a presentation on the capability of the accounting software from our Finance and Administration Manager Erica. Her concern is the integration between the modules we use – General Ledger, Marina, Membership and Point of Sale - and the difficulty of providing special reports to the committee when requested. The software is not as intuitive as we need these days and it would appear that we have outgrown the existing software system and the additional data that is requested from time-to-time requires time consuming manipulation to generate what should be simple reports. Erica also advised the current software provider appears to be moving in a different direction and is not intending to upgrade and develop the software outside of the Point of Sale (POS) system. The present system we have is restricted to yacht clubs (nationally) and golf clubs. She went on to give an overview of the benefits of a central data base and integrated system that would provide up to date customer relationship management and enterprise relationship management systems used in many businesses today.
After a healthy debate the resolution was, this will be lengthy process and the Club will need to look carefully at the various software options available. Erica has researched different options which will be a good starting point. We will be talking to our IT provider to see if we can improve our current system in the interim.

The Policy review committee has had several meetings and we are seeing results, hopefully after this months’ meeting, we will be able to start the process of reviewing the existing policies.
There is a 5 stage review processes - this should then enable us to format a document that can be uploaded onto the members portal for easy access.

Your Pens and Moorings Committee have already been hard at work and the New Shore Power Policy 2020 was adopted by Management and will be implemented by 1 April 2020. There are a few changes that will make it easier to read and understand.

Our treasurer, besides grumbling about over-runs, is in the middle of overhauling the Financial Policy and Procedure Manual starting with Committee/Starters keys. This task has been time consuming as all the costs associated with the keys had to separated and charged to the correct sections. Now this is nearing completion the new policy will take effect. The Financial Policy and Procedure Manual will be tabled at the March Management Meeting as the review process has now been completed by staff and the Finance Committee.

You may have noticed the change in the Clubs logo. Management approved the branding artwork, many thanks to Cally Browning, Grand Sponsors Chair and Lynda from the office. The review process was completed and as I hadn’t received any negative responses in the Commodores emails, I have assumed the majority of members have approved.

The new catch phase is Covid-19 also known as the Corona-virus. The club has addressed the need for diligent hygiene practices amongst the staff to ensure we meet the current industry advisory updates. I don’t what to alarm the members, but we need to be vigilant and possibly more aware of our hygiene regarding hand washing etc. I know there are sceptics, but we, as an organisation in hospitality, will need to follow the governments directives and advice to minimise any impact the virus may have.

It’s budget time! The first draft of the budget will need to be at Management soon ready for the half yearly meeting on 29th April 2020. This seems a long way off but time flies when you are having fun.

There was a question regarding the YTTDF - most members may not know what this is. It appears on your annual membership renewal. The fund is administered the Directors of a Trustee Company called SOPYC YTTD Pty Ltd and has five directors who are members of SoPYC. This is a report produced by the Chairman, Heather Monkhouse.

The SoPYC Youth Travel, Training and Development Fund (YTTDF) was established in 2016 for the promotion and support of the following:
  1. to provide travel assistance to the Club's junior and youth sailors for State, National and international regattas.
  2. to provide specialised pre-regatta coaching and/or coaching at regattas.
  3. to assist in the purchase of necessary coaching aids.
  4. such other projects for the benefit of the junior and youth members that the Trustees decide.
As at 30 June 2019, the Net Assets for the YTTDF were $82,969 (Term Deposit with ANZ) with an additional $18,365.36 due to be transferred to the YTTDF in late February 2020.

At this stage the YTTDF is in accumulation mode and we expect this to continue for a number of years. We are also investigating setting up a 'fundraising campaign' with the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF) which essentially enables members and others to make tax-deductible donations to the YTTDF.

In the policy manual of the Membership Committee, there is a clause that asks for random membership checks. The committee intends to use these checks to survey members and just ask a series of questions politely and while verifying your membership at the same time. So, if you are approached, please answer the questions honestly as the information is important to the committee and the future of our club.

There is always something going on in Works. You may have noticed large pallets of grey material around the bosuns shed. This is the new decking for jetty 3. Bob Harrap will be looking for volunteers from the Bosuns Club and general membership to assist in the installation. He is intending to commence the works in the cooler months, so if you have some time available just let me or Brian Cross know.

The plans and specifications for the Centreboard Clubhouse toilet refurbishment are in their final stages and we would anticipate going to tender by the end of this month. This would see a start date in May 2020.

The wave attenuator is good to go. There are a couple of approvals to be finalised and the start of the works should coincide with the Duyfken’s departure.

The Club has received a proposal and a quote to install a 50 MW Solar System for the Clubhouse to the tune of $94k. At the same time, the asbestos roof of the Clubhouse, Centreboard Clubhouse and chandlery could be removed and replaced for another $126k. If all this work is undertaken the total would be $220k.
The investment payback for cost of the solar panels only would be 3 years. Our current expenditure on power consumption is around $150k a year. The General Manager pointed out that Western Power assisted with the cost of the upgrading of the transformer (SoPYC has a third of the capacity) as part of the jetty 4 & 5 project and we may need to investigate any implications this may have. The proposal received a fair hearing. Our thought being the proposal should be looked at more closely with Finance Committee giving more thought as to the funding, so early days yet.

Rear Commodore Carl has been busy with the AYC (Australian Youth Championships 2021) and has now set up a committee to oversee the regatta. We have met with representatives from Australian Sailing (AS) and Royal Perth Yacht Club (RPYC) as the AS is the Organising Authority (OA), with us as the Host Club and RPYC assisting us and running one of the courses. As I hinted in my last bulletin, we will require lots of resources and volunteers.

Australian Sailing (AS), in its wisdom, has amended sailing rule 46 with effect from January 2021. This will require all crew competing in racing to be members of an affiliated Australian Sailing Club from the first race they sail in, where previously you could sail three races without joining a club.

The only change in the rule is that rather than crew having the three ‘free races’, they now have to be members for all races. We know that compliance with the rule requiring club membership is rarely a problem in off the beach racing or top-level keelboat events. The challenges with application of the rule in other segments has always been there and unfortunately remains unchanged unless clubs actively promote membership.

This has introduced a discussion of the “Day Pass”. Both Regatta and Sailing committees have discussed this at length and hopefully will have a resolution in the near future.

The Vice Commodore with the Functions Committee have produced a schedule of future events, these will be finalised at the next meeting. Our 75th Opening Day will be Sunday 4th October which fits in with other clubs opening days and our offshore calendar. Talk about tiptoeing through the tulips!

Well I think I’ve covered most of the business from a rather long meeting, so if you have read this far you will know as much as the Commodore does!


John Midolo
SoPYC Commodore
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