Club Coach Tom Spithill will be finishing up in his position as Head Coach at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Feb/ March 2020 (date to be announced).
Since commencing full time work at the Yacht Club in 2007, Tom worked as a sailing administrator, and was instrumental in launching the “Force 24 Super Series”, which helped encourage members of all ages to compete in an exciting format.
The position of head coach became available, and Tom seamlessly transitioned into that roll, overseeing the clubs extensive sail training program.
Tom was involved with developing the Carl Halverson Scholarship program and the implementation of the Green fleet. These programs helped to transition non-sailing families from learn to sail programs into regular club racing.
The Youth Development Program has continued to excel under Tom’s leadership. Some notable achievements whilst the squad have been under Toms Guidance have been:
*First all-female team to win the Harken Youth International Match Racing Regatta. (Milly Bennett)
* First Female helm and first all-female team to win the Hardy Cup international Match Racing Regatta (Clare Costanzo)
* 2016 Youth Match Racing World Champions (William Dargaville).
Tom has also been a driving force in the RPAYC award winning “Integrated Disabled Sailing Program”, working with organisations such as Soldier On, St John Of God and Homes for Heroes. Working with the participants who range from veterans, current serving and first responders and helping them in their recovery by organising sailing and family days.
Tom played a major part in the delivery of the Invictus games launch in addition to the Games itself in Sydney, taking on the role as Sports Competition Manger for Sailing. The Games was the largest Multi Sports games since the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Over the years Tom has been recognised state wide and nationally with Coach of the Year and Sports Professional of the Year Awards.
Tom plans to enjoy some travelling and explore some upcoming sailing opportunities as he sees where this next chapter takes him.
Prior to being full time at the Alfred’s, Tom worked casually instructing sailing and mark laying back when he was 15, and plans to still help out where he can.
“I was on $10 an hour when I started instructing here at the club, and I have fond memories of spending time with Gary E. The club has been a part of my life since I was born, I did my first regatta here when I was 3 years old, someone’s crew forgot to turn up and my older Brother and Sister were already sailing so my dad chucked me on board and I reportedly slept most of the day!”
“I want to thank the members of the club for giving me the opportunity to work at such an amazing club, the friendships I have forged here are life long, and I will now enjoy resuming my membership here at the club” commented a clearly nostalgic and emotional Tom.
Tom has been a very important staff member at the Club for many years and we will miss his contribution and banter in the office, including his 'technical support' skills. We wish him well in his new ventures and look forward to seeing him out on the water and enjoying the club as a member again. Good luck Tom.
When Tommy met Prince Harry - Invictus Games Sail GP Q & A / Harken Welcome Function