Akuna Bay Cruising Club

Commodore's Message

Saturday 10 August, 2013


Dear Members

I'm pleased to report on another successful year for the Club over the 2012/13 season despite what has generally been a most challenging year for everyone! The economy has provided a difficult backdrop for the boating industry and leisure sector and has clearly affected discretionary spending available to many people who usually would invest in their favourite leisure pastime, which in our case would be boating!

Your Committee this year has focussed on growing club membership following some decline over recent years. We end the year with 54 Members' boats - so about 108 individual members plus children and friends! The wider invitation extended to all d'Albora's customers to this AGM is consistent with this objective as we spread the message. But it's great to see we have already had a great deal of success in attracting new Members. I welcome the new Members who have joined the Club over recent months - I have spoken to many of you who are keen to actively participate in the activities of the Club. It was really good to see so many of you attending the Pizza Night!

This is the central theme of our Cruising Club - to bring boating enthusiasts together and optimize their boating experience as they improve their sea-going knowledge and engage socially with a wonderful group of friendly people. We also provide a framework to support Members with the Club's moorings, which were added to at The Basin in July this year, and regular organised events both on water and on shore.

We have welcomed new management to Akuna Bay this year and are glad to see Clemens Overdijk, Evan Wooldridge and Richo attending this year's lunch. We look forward to hearing them talk about their plans for the marina this year at the AGM Lunch. We have had good dialogue during the year which we started off with issues about the lack of security and the delay in getting Rodney's travellift up and running which we had good responses to. Also Evan added the signage to the defib which the Club substantially funded. This is in addition to the ongoing appreciation we all have for Richo and his dockside team for the tremendous assistance they provide to us boaties during the year - during both good and bad weather conditions. In particular we hope that Richo has come through his recent health problems in good order! Thanks also to the individual gifts of beach towels to our Members from d'Albora's!

I have been fortunate to have a great Committee in place during the year and I would like to thank them for their ideas, energy and expertise in managing the Club's affairs. We conducted nine Committee meetings during the year where we had a healthy exchange of ideas and much discussion. At the AGM we will have some of our Committee members standing down so I would particularly like to thank them for their substantial contributions to the Club's success over the years - David Bornstein and my darling wife Trisha are stepping down.


On our website www.akunabay.org we have a record of the year's social events in the photos and comments. Thanks to Keith Turner and any other contributors for creating a great record of our events.

We kicked off the new boating season with an enjoyable Season Opening Dinner Dance, a spectacular cocktail evening held in the Driftwood Cafe where Brian and team provided delicious food and great service. Many of us danced till late to music played by our favourite live music duo "Just Jammin'".
In a move from tradition, on Saturday December 1st we cruised up to Peats' Bite to enjoy one of our favourite venues for the ABCC Christmas Party and also stay overnight. I was pleased to be able to extend our best wishes to Tammy, Tanya and family after the loss of patriarch Rod early in the year. They have been wonderful friends to the Club for many years and have had a tough year so it was great to catch up.
We celebrated Australia Day on a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon at Refuge Beach enjoying raft-ups on the Refuge Bay moorings despite the bushfire conditions. With a strong turnout for drinks on Refuge Beach in the afternoon I think that a great day was had by all regardless of the smoke! Backburning had been a response to the substantial bushfire which burned from West Head road down to Refuge Bay on Friday the previous weekend after igniting during a lightning strike at the end of "our hottest day" where the temp hit 46.5 degrees in the shade at the marina. Amazing!
On the previous Friday night we enjoyed a great Australia Day BBQ provided by D'Albora's marina management on a warm balmy night at the BBQ area near A arm.

In mid April we cruised up to enjoy the hospitality of Gosford Sailing Club with a dinner jointly attended by Members of both clubs (and some attended by car). I would sincerely like to thank Gordon Riley and his Committee at Gosford for their hospitality which I believe should become an annual event given the significant Central Coast membership in the ABCC and the opportunity to cruise into new waterways - not a problem in my Maritimo 52 but - stay in the channels not in the shallows!

We held the Beach Ball event in the Clubroom on Level 1 at the Akuna Bay Marina not at Hallett's Beach. We changed the location due to the impact of heavy rain on river conditions with debris and beach erosion and the forecast showers and strong winds and swells. Setting up a similar theme in the ClubRoom is easy when you have the genius of Marcia Southern and her helpers so we had a wonderful ambience set up for the evening.
Just look at the photos to evidence that we all had a wonderful time dressed in purple theme to raise funds for brain cancer research!

The Trivia Night was again hosted by Frank and Janet Gardner and we had a very competitive evening - heaps of fun. Thanks again Frank and Janet for your hard work in bringing together an excellent night! The next day Saturday we cruised up to Peats' Bite for our traditional winter lunch. Sounded like a great day!

Christmas in July was held at Kaiser Stubn up near Mona Vale Rd. Their heated glass function room provided a cosy venue for a hearty winter afternoon lunch.

Each year the Committee selects a charitable cause for which we donate funds. At various Committee meetings, the Committee resolved to make a donation on behalf of the Club to the Cancer Council of $1,500 - dedicated to brain cancer research through "Cure for Life". The charitable donation reinforces the Club's willingness to contribute financial help to medical research and other support services for people suffering from illnesses relevant to our Members.


Amongst our Members there are some who have not been enjoying the best of health and I offer you all the best wishes from your fellow Members. A former Member James Vale has been recognised by the Committee as being a long-standing and valued contributor to the Club and a Certificate will be presented to James. Unfortunately ill-health prevents his attendance at today's lunch.

For the coming year I invite you all to participate as fully as you like in the social activities of the Club which I believe sets the ABCC apart. We continue to strive to be a Club focussed on maximising the safety and enjoyment of our boating abilities and enjoying each other's company through an active social agenda.

As I have completed 4 years as Commodore of the Club I will be stepping down this year but will continue as a Committee Member. I thank all Committee and Club Members for their support to me over the last year and I trust that I have been able to move the Club forward.

I hope that you've enjoyed your Membership in 2012/13 and look forward to seeing you on the water.

Happy and Safe Boating

Jeff Sheehan


Mobile: 0412 251 194
Email: sheehanjeff@bigpond.com