Sandringham Yacht Club celebrates starting its second hundred years

Sandringham Yacht Club 2009 Sail Melbourne regatta - Jeff Cro
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‘Sail 2 C’ is the theme adopted for the Official Opening of the 2011-12 sailing season at Sandringham Yacht Club (SYC) in Melbourne, Victoria, as the Club looks to celebrate the coming of its second century of sailing and boating on Sunday 2 October and it seems like a great day for sailors and would-be sailors alike.

A large proportion of SYC’s 2,500 members are expected to attend, along with their family and friends, and members of the public who are interested in sailing, the day’s events or becoming a member of Victoria’s premier yacht club.

'Sail 2 C is a ‘showcase’ event and our aim is to attract young people to sailing for both serious and casual racing, as well as to illustrate the opportunities for all ages to participate in wider sailing and boating activities,' SYC Commodore Steve Richards said.

Having been at the forefront at the Official Opening of the brand new SYC clubhouse on Saturday 3 October, 2009 (almost a year to the day of the Sail 2 C), the Royal Australian Navy will again be in attendance and is also celebrating its Centenary of Issue of Royal Warrant on that day.

The RAN’s rousing band will once again be a focal point, performing between 10am and 3.30pm, with the Sailpast due to start 12.15pm.

Other activities will include the Ronstan Regatta open to all dinghy sailors, followed by a team racing display and a kite boarding demonstration; the latter may be included as an ISAF display sport as a precursor to future Olympic selection. With entertainment to keep the kids happy and food and beverages served all day, everyone is catered for.
Matt Allen is the guest speaker. Immediate Past Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, he began his sailing career in dinghies at SYC and has gone on to contest 22 Sydney Hobart’s, with a second on line in 2006 and third in 2007 and 2008, among his many successes.

'His kind of sailing life is what we are promoting; our future is in young sailors. The Club is working hard to accommodate the needs of sailors of all ages from as young as seven years old in our junior Optimists and Cadets, our vibrant J24 match racing fleets, through to top flight high-tech grand prix racing yachts,' said Ian Whitbread, who is co-ordinating Sail 2 C.

'We value our older sailors, such as Lou and John Stenford, who is in his 90's and still regularly races aboard Amicus.

Then of course there are the likes of record-breaking Jesse Martin, who fulfilled his dream of sailing single-handed non-stop around the world; people youngsters can look up to and be encouraged by,' Whitbread commented.

The start of the 2011-12 Sailing Season will kick off smartly with racing four days per week and increase as the season goes on.

Sandringham Yacht Club, situated at 32 Jetty Road, on Port Phillip, is a Registered Training Organisation (attended by over 2,000 school children per annum). It features a state-of-the-art clubhouse with a public restaurant surrounded by views of Port Phillip and function rooms catering for the smallest and largest, informal and formal occasions with excellent food and service.

One of the most forward-thinking clubs in Australia, and a world-class facility, SYC has won many awards in recent years, including Safety Initiative by an Organisation and Overall Industry Achiever in 2011, adding to the Community Hero, Best Club Redevelopment and Best Community Facility Design awards in 2009.

Among other awards the Club is most proud of are the 2007 and 2009 Environmental Awards at the Victorian Marine Industry Awards and the 2009 Victorian Yacht Club of the Year.