With the firing of the cannon, Commodore Lockley declared the new sailing season open for 2017/2018, crews saluted dignitaries in the Sail Past with the Pittwater Dash start providing a visual spectactular.
In his opening speech Commodore Lockley welcomed RPAYC Patron, The Honorable Bronwen Bishop, Federal Member for Mackellar, Jason Falinski, NSW Member for Pittwater and Minister for Education, Rob Stokes, Commodores and reps from our fellow sailing clubs and sailing governing bodies and most importantly, all RPAYC members and the staff of RPAYC.
"Last year we opened the 150th season, making this the 151st so this really marks the start of a new era and I will come to that a bit later", "this year has been one of celebration as we have reflected on our past and how this club came to be the magnificent sporting club that we all enjoy today. As part of those celebrations we have had many and varied events providing us with opportunities to reflect, learn and celebrate", said Lockley.
The club opened the Sesquicentennial year on Saturday 15 October 2016 with the completion of the entry beautification and the unveiling of the new entrance sculpture.
Other celebratory events have included;
- RPAYC Club Champions Dinner where we celebrated the many champions, including World and Olympian, that have come from the RPAYC.
- The Sesquicentennial Old Timers Race saw a record 37 boats participate and a sell-out lunch!!
- “Back to Alfred's” was a cocktail party giving 25 years of Youth Development graduates time to reunite.
- 17 boats are participating in our Sesquicentennial Cruise to the Coral Coast – all are having a fantastic time and we wish them safe passage on their return journey.
A number of final important events are remaining including the clubs Life and Seniors Lunch next week, the Sesquicentenary Gala Dinner on 7 October and the major event to conclude the year on Sunday 15 October with the Sesquicentennial Race and Garden Party.
Parties are secondary to our Sailing, because that is what RPAYC is all about and if you attended our Champions Dinner you could have heard all about the incredible number of champions this Club has produced.
The 2016/17 saw a comprehensive sailing calendar where the club run a host of regattas;
- The Wattle Cup Couta Boat Regatta
- Couta Boat Summer Pittwater Regatta
- Young 88 NSW Championship
- MC38 Sprint Regatta
- MC38 Australian Championship
- Etchells NSW Championship
- Etchells Australian Championship
- Old Timers Race
- Farr 40s Pittwater Regatta
- The Harken International Youth Match Racing Regatta
- Whisper Mug
- Spring, Summer, Autumn, winter One Design & Sports Boat Regattas
- Dicko Cup Weekend
- Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race
- David Lukins Match Racing Regatta
- Gwen Slade Etchells Regatta
- Huntingfield Cup Australian Championship - this is an bi-annual regatta for the Jubilee class. The Jubilee was the first boat raced in an RPAYC race in Pittwater so this was a very significant regatta for us this year.
- Sydney 38 NSW championship
- Melges East Coast championship
The clubs continues to invest in our sport more than ever have before;
Thursday evening’s Sailors Safety and Regulations Briefing gave members a chance to met the clubs new Race Director Nick Elliott who we hope will be with us soon (visa pending). Nick will support to our on water volunteers and race management teams, and most importantly bring a new perspective and a new approach to RPA sailing.
Changes to the Sailing Program have been made to provide members with more opportunities to sail the way they want to; including more regatta style racing, a bigger Blue Water Series which now includes a race all the way to Southport, a great One Design program to provide affordable and time efficient ways to participate in our sport on Pittwater and retain our ever popular Club racing series.
The club has had some great achievements this year including;
- The Marina Industry Association – 2017 Club of the Year.
- 2018 Invictus Games launch on Sydney Harbour of which RPA will feature heavily with its fleet of Elliott 7s and race management vessels.
- Our RIO Olympians did us proud with Gold and Silver awards,
- A gripping America’s Cup has watched and while Australia didn’t have a boat we certainly provided the lion’s share of many of the crews and as usual RPAYC member featured heavily both on and off the water!
The club is nothing without its members, and most importantly its volunteers who give hundreds of hours to run our sport and our club. "We are fortunate to have well over 100 volunteers and on behalf of all members I thank them all", said Lockley with an applause from the crowd.
In celebrating the clubs 150 years, the work that the Archives Committee has been doing has been amazing and soon their endless hours working away will be displayed in a new history wall in the club house to the high standard of the History Walk spread across the club grounds.
In closing his opening speech, Commodore Lockley welcomed the clubs Patron to lead the crowd in the National Anthem, followed by the newly awarded Life Member Russell Murphy to fire the cannon and 2017 Club Person of the Year Julia Hornsby to official crack the flag to open the 2017/2018 season.
The day was a fantastic display of club spirit and comradery, a full display of the days photos can be viewed and download for free from the clubs image gallery : http://rpayc.fotomerchant.com/
Pittwater Dash Winners:
- Division 1: Windy Too, Carl Russett
- Division 2: Pacesetter, Andy McPhail
- Division 3: Youth Development, Harry Parker
Full results here: http://www.rpayc.com.au/sailing-results
Best dressed Crew:
- Firefly, Ian Edwards
Best Dressed Boat:
- Picasso, Virginia & Robert McCellend