It was a wet day for the 2014/15 Sailing Season Opening Day last Saturday at The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, but a bit of rain wasn't going to dampen the spirits of the over 500 members and guests who celebrated the day at their beloved club.
Commodore Ian Audsley reminded all present that they are "truly blessed to be here, in the best country in the world, looking out at the best part of the best country in the world and standing in front of one of the truly great yacht clubs in the world " and informed all present of what lays ahead in the coming sailing season including an inaugural week which will see over 500 sailors participating in the various activities. He went on to say that the season will only build from there as the club twilight racing begins next month along with over 500 children participating week in week out in the Schools and Junior and Youth sailing programs . The Speaker of the House and Federal Member for McKellar, the Honourable Bronwyn Bishop welcomed all and acknowledged the important place the club has in the community, particularly with respect to the support and integration those with disabilities. These comments were echoed by the Deputy Major Kylie Fergusson who also acknowledged the part the club plays in promoting healthy lifestyles for the local residents.
After the Commodore declared the Sailing Season Open, the Honourable Bronwyn Bishop fired the cannon and over 30 boats braved the weather for the traditional Sail Past and salute, many dressing up in an effort to win the best dressed crew and boat prizes. Then it was off and racing in the Pittwater Dash. All eight of the club's new training fleet of Elliott 7s were out on the water racing and crewed by those in the Club's highly regarded Youth Development program of which America's Cup winning skipper James (Jimmy) Spithill as well as Olympic Medallist Nina Curtis and other World Class sailors are graduates.
It was then back to the club house where staff braved the weather, the members dried out and all enjoyed a gourmet BBQ, live music and the day's presentation.
If this is how they do it in the wet, it looks like the Alfred's members are in for a great sailing season!
All boat owners and crew are invite to sail with the RPAYC, contact the Sailing Office 02 9998 3700 or visit te clubs websie for more details on the annual programs www.rpayc.com.au
The annual 'Pittwater Dash' was run following the Sail Past Parade in testing conditions for competitors and the race team, full results can be viewed here: