SAILORS launched Sun City Yacht Club’s 2016-17 season at Two Rocks Marina last Sunday as its committee worked on ways to keep the club afloat.
At its November 13 opening day, the club held a formal ceremony before Mark Yates from St James Parish blessed the fleet of dinghies and yachts.
Commodore John Utley said the small club was “in a good space” after operating at a loss for the past few years.
“We made a profit last year of $120, which we’ve spent pretty wisely,” he said.
Vice-patron and Wanneroo MLA Paul Miles said the club used to receive funds from the Two Rocks boat ramp fees until a couple of years ago, when the Department of Transport scrapped them during ramp repairs and upgrades.
“We used to get all the revenue from the boat ramp and we lost that revenue,” he said.
“We’ve had to find other ways to get that revenue coming in – through junior sailing and through some of the social events that the club has been able to do.
“This year has seen the biggest influx of young people coming on board.”
Mr Utley said the club had 12 dinghy sailors, who were a mix of juniors and seniors.
“A lot of our energy goes into our dinghy racing,” he said.
The club will hold a triathlon event involving a swim, run and sail in December. The club has qualified for the State Government’s KidSport program, which aims to get more young people involved in various sports.
Mr Miles said the yacht club was set up at a “pinnacle point” in WA’s yachting history for Alan Bond’s syndicate in the 1970s.
“The community has kept it going ever since,” he said.
Mr Miles, who holds several ministerial portfolios, said the Transport Department was working on a master plan for the club site and the marina.
“The problem we have with this particular marina is this wall is the extent of the boundary for the department – everything else is privately owned,” he said.
Patron and Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said there was “fabulous sailing weather on the water” for the opening day.
“There are challenges for the club, but it has got a big heart and so much enthusiasm,” she said.
Mrs Roberts highlighted the strength of the club’s relationship with the neighbouring Two Rocks Volunteer Marine Rescue Group, whose recently-appointed commander Pam Annesley attended the opening day.
Other guests included Yachting WA president Mark Fitzhardinge and commodores from other Perth clubs, including Mandurah.