Friday, 05 November 2021

RSAYS Launch of 2021-22 Sailing Season

Greetings to you all!

I know you had to adjust arrangements for your Sail Past this afternoon in light of the weather.

You have a lovely building with a beautiful outlook.

Having had a keen recreational sailor for a father, I think I have some inkling of the excitement the start of the sailing seasons brings, despite today’s weather challenges.

Dad learned to sail in the sea scouts and graduated to trailer‑sailer in adulthood, followed by progressively 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, and one which I understand is also joyful and therapeutic and just slightly addictive.

The pandemic has interrupted the activities of many sailors around the world, as well as their squadrons.

It has been a challenging time for members, with restrictions on numbers for sailing and social events.

The cancellation of the 2020 Sydney to Hobart affected several squadron members.

The ebb and , if I can put it that way, flow of state border closures have also created difficulties for many people, including sailors wanting to travel, are now easing.

Even with limitations, the squadron has run an impressive program in the past year.

In particular I note and applaud efforts to broaden the demographic of sailors to include more women, young adults, people with disability, and people for whom sailing has traditionally been too expensive.

I’m very pleased to hear that your junior members are nearly 50 percent female, and that you had excellent take-up in the Women on Water program. I warmly encourage you in these efforts.

I also commend the members who run the Dis-able Program on Thursdays, as well as the Foundation for supporting it financially.

I thank the Squadron’s Chair and Board, Commodore Kaz Eaton, staff and volunteers for their exceptional efforts in 2021.

I look forward to declaring the sailing season open a little later.

Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC


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