Saturday, October 29

It’s great to be back at the Cruising Yacht Club for the opening of the 2022-23 sailing season.

I was delighted to be here earlier this month to present trophies at the inaugural South Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta, an extraordinary event of 300 women, coming together, vocally and supportively, in a healthy spirit of competition and cooperation.

I again congratulate the Cruising Yacht Club on its role in realising this event, which no doubt will be the first of many.

I also congratulate this afternoon’s award winners and recipients of life membership.

You have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to this club, its community and the sport of sailing.

I welcome the new Commodore, Vice Commodore and Rear Commodores and thank their outgoing counterparts for their service.

Friends,

Having had a keen recreational sailor for a father, I think I have some inkling of the excitement the start of the sailing seasons heralds.

Dad learned to sail in the sea scouts and graduated to trailer‑sailors in adulthood, followed by larger boats, each of which he loved.

We’d watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart on television every year and followed America’s Cup racing closely.

This exposure to sailing and my own occasional efforts has given me a lifelong respect for, and admiration of, sailors, both amateur and professional.

It’s an amazing sport but also a tough one, requiring much skill and quick thinking.

It’s also joyful, therapeutic and, perhaps like a lot of sports,   just slightly addictive, and comes with a range of physical and mental health benefits, including a community of like-minded people.

This season your community is ‘sailing’ – if you’ll excuse the pun! – into the golden anniversary of your club.

I congratulate you on reaching this anniversary and I thank past and present members of the Board, staff, flag officers, members and volunteers for your varied contributions.

In particular, I thank your volunteers, so often the lifeblood of clubs, for their contributions over the past half century, whether on the water, or off through committee work or the demanding cycle of maintenance, repair and refurbishment.

I wish the club all the very best with its upcoming season of events in celebration of your anniversary.

These include the Port Adelaide Water Sports Festival in December, which promises to be bigger and better than last year with more on-water activities.

I am pleased that the club will host the start of the 2023 Adelaide to Port Lincoln Yacht Race, which Australian Sailing has awarded status as the Australian Yachting Championships.

This will bring many interstate boats and visitors to SA, for what we all hope will be a fleet second in size only to that of  the Sydney to Hobart.

After the Opening Day ceremony there will also be the launch of your new Youth Sailing Foundation, to support young dedicated young sailors, including young people from underprivileged backgrounds.

I wish the club every success as it seeks to engage the younger people and produce the sailing stars of the future, while actively seeking diversity and the strength it brings in your broader membership.

It is now my great pleasure to declare the CYCSA season open!