Akuna Bay Cruising Club

Commodore's Annual Report - Year 2009/10

Friday 13 August, 2010

At the conclusion of my first year as Commodore I am pleased to present this report to you on what, I believe, has been another successful year for the Club. After my election last year I referred to the Club's Constitution on the stated objectives of the Club i.e. primarily "to foster orderly cruising and the social gathering of boat owners and their friends and to promote and conduct aquatic and social events".

In my view I had a great legacy and a fantastic footprint already laid out to achieve these objectives. This was the culmination of the enthusiastic and imaginative work of previous Commodores and Committees over past decades. I also had a great Committee in place which was full of these people (including two past Commodores) and I thank them for their support through the year. We conducted eight Committee meetings during the year and individually Members also took over organisation of different events. I thank all of the Committee for their contributions during the year and their knowledge, energy and expertise.

In looking back over the year (summary below) I believe that we have achieved our objectives through conducting 14 organised events, including at least one held every month. I can also reflect on other more informal social occasions, such as marina arm parties, and boating activities between Members during the year. This is testament to the camaraderie and adventurous spirit which is characteristic of most boat owners but, at Akuna Bay, I believe is enhanced substantially by the existence of such a great social support structure as the Cruising Club.

Two other priorities have been pursued by your Committee
- providing training opportunities to help improve the seagoing capabilities and safety awareness of Members and
- raising funds to support medical research and other charitable causes addressing health issues which have affected various Members in recent years.

Brief summaries of the year follow.


The Season Opening Dinner on Saturday September 26 was a great night with 50 Members and friends enjoying each others' company at the Cafe. A delicious curry buffet was set out by Joe and team at All Senses catering and live music was provided by our long term friend, Wendi Jackson. It was a lively start to the 2009/10 boating season which allowed old and new Club friends to catch up as we headed into the warmer boating season.

During last Spring we had record rainfall often with strong winds and it had a negative effect on our planned boating activities. The planned October long-weekend raft-up in Castle Lagoon was an early victim of the weather. On the weekend of November 14-15 we arranged a get-together at The Basin on Pittwater. As the Club has only one mooring there this can be a little bit "off the radar" for some of us but offers superb swimming and beach access. We had about a dozen boats attend with some rafting up on the ABCC mooring. All in all this was a most pleasant social event in a magnificent location.
The ABCC Christmas Party was held on Saturday December 12 at Akuna Bay Marina's upstairs function centre and we enjoyed a fabulous sunny afternoon. This venue was prioritised because of the fantastic outlook over the marina and to support our local businesses. The catering by All Senses provided a magnificent traditional buffet Christmas lunch for the 50 Members and friends in attendance. Music was provided by a Juke-Box and lucky door prizes were distributed.
Again several Members spent New Year's Eve together at the RMYC with dinner and dancing at the RMYC's Garden Forecourt with boats berthed at the Marina. Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the event and midnight fireworks along with the great company of Club Members and friends. Additionally some Members made the journey to Sydney Harbour to enjoy NYE fireworks on their boats (including me and my teenage children and their friends aboard Cool Change- fantastic!).
We kicked off Australia Day celebrations early on Friday January 22 with a well-attended BBQ on the marina with an "Australiana" theme. Prizes were offered for "best-dressed Aussie" and Aussie poetry was recited, including a hilarious Akuna Bay adaptation of "My Country Australia" by Terry Arnold. On January 26 we had our traditional Australia Day get-together at Illawong Bay Park with Aussie-style activities.
The troops were marshalled to support our Vice-Commodore Kim Murray as she battled to push her Dragon boat into first place with a weekend at Cockle Bay Marina Darling Harbour on February 27 (she did great and was a winner)!

Our beloved signature event, the ABCC Beach Ball was to be held at Hallett's Beach on Saturday evening March 6. With the horrible weather forecast we decided that "discretion is the better part of valour"- that is to move the event indoors to the Function Centre. I need to report that this was a difficult decision but was based on safety and comfort issues. Therefore I was comfortable with the move despite the eventual good weather, particularly when we saw the superb result upstairs with the marquis and decorations in place. This year we adopted a charitable theme so we decorated and wore a lot of pink and we raised money for the Breast Cancer Institute. Thanks to Marcia Southern (as always) and the team for the final result.

Golf Day - The ABCC Charity Cup was resurrected this year in April and a field of 25 golfers competed at Gordon golf course. In particular thank you to Barry and Marcia Southern for organising and accommodating the Charity Golf day and the following BBQ at their home in Killara.

We enjoyed the sixth annual Trivia Night conducted by Frank and Janet Gardner. Four tables totalling 22 Members, friends and family set up in the Clubroom and were treated to an extremely interesting, testing and amusing series of questions compiled by our quizmasters, with a table full of prizes as our rewards. The competition was intense and tables became extremely competitive with each other. I would like to sincerely thank Frank and Janet again for the effort put in to arranging a most enjoyable evening.

Our Long Weekend in June was sponsored by the Letter S - an amazing array of Sailors, Skippers, Suzi Quattros, even politician Steven Smith etc. turned up for the Saturday afternoon function. The rafted-up boats totalled 14 at that stage but some moved on for sunnier spots on Sunday. While Smith's Creek provides an awesome anchorage along the shore we will definitely look for sunnier raft-up opportunities next year!

I thought Christmas in July was well conceived this year by being at Kaiser Stubn up at Mona Vale Rd. Their heated function room which fitted our 34 attendees perfectly and the Austrian style menu were superb. Some of us later settled into some "marina socialisation" aboard Cannon and other boats!


Our objective was to raise money for charities mainly focussed on Breast Cancer Research (while also having a good time!) at various Club events. At the "pink" Beach Ball we raised $600, at the Charity Golf Day and the shaving of Scott Murray's head another $700 so we have been able to donate a total of $1,300 split between the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Sydney Breast Cancer Institute. Thank you for giving so generously of your time and money to support this worthy cause, which I know has touched some Club Members as well as other women in our lives.


As discussed, your Committee has an ongoing commitment to not only provide an active social calendar but also improve our knowledge on seamanship and boating safety. The Yachting Australia Safety and Survival at Sea 2 day course was attended by 8 Members on September 26 and October 11, 2009.

The course resulted in a "Certificate of Competency" from Yachting Australia valid for 5 years. We met a number of yachties who engage mainly in offshore racing and some were renewing this compulsory training. They asked why so many power boat skippers were doing the training (only 1 yachtie amongst our group- Smithy)! Sadly some of these guys had crewed in the previous day's fatal race to Wollongong - quite a story!

On Marina safety matters, your Committee was able to make progress on improving safety standards in collaboration with D'Albora's management. In January they acquired and installed a Defibrillation unit, with a model that we recommended. As most of you know this substantially improves chance of survival in our remote location after Sudden Cardiac Arrest or heart attack. To ensure this happens, we contributed $1,725 (approximately one-third of the cost of installation) as this facility could easily save lives in our isolated environment.



It has been exciting to see some Club Members stepping up into new and larger craft after enjoying their boating in their previous boats but obviously feeling the need for more space! So congratulations go to those Members who have upgraded their boats this year!