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Joint Newsletter for PYC and RNYC Members
Several times over the years as well as in the recent past there have been negotiations and efforts to merge our two Clubs, but with each of these the process was never successfully concluded. The advent of the Covid 19 Pandemic and resulting Lock Down in 2020 was very harmful to the patronage and running of both Clubs, and this served as a catalyst to re-ignite the negotiation process.
Whilst our Clubs have rather different business plans in place and each has its own respective strengths and weaknesses, there are factors common to both with arguably the most critical being membership numbers, and sailing activity. The view shared by the General Committees of both Clubs is that the critical mass of a combined single membership will be very beneficial not only PYC and RNYC, but also to our sport of sailing, and that standing and working together will give us far greater certainty for the future than if we persist as two separate entities.
At this point both Clubs have approved a mandate for their respective negotiating teams to meet and consider the way forward. RNYC are represented by Leo Kroone; Steve Cawdron; Mark Cawdron and Jeremy Kriek, while PYC are represented by Myles White; Robin Hulley; Wayne Smith and Struan Campbell. Thus far 4 meetings have taken place between the negotiating teams, while there has also been a further meeting with the General Committee members in attendance.
It is safe to state that with unanimity the negotiating teams as well as both General Committees are fully supportive of and committed to this process, and there is a firm desire to witness this process being successfully concluded.
As with any negotiation process there have been points of difference, but in the spirit or working toward a mutually beneficial cause these have been treated as challenges to be overcome as opposed to obstacles that prevent progress. There is no clear and obvious path to be followed, except for the teams to continue in a transparent and objective manner until we achieve a final position which is expected to satisfy the members of both Clubs.
Some of the key issues that have been discussed include:
- The debt existing for RNYC will not under any circumstances be carried across to the future
“combined” Club. RNYC is on a mission to clear this debt and already substantial progress has been made.
- The new PYC Beach Site (known as “Durban Beach Club”) will be equally available for patronage to all members of the Combined Club.
- The PYC “Bayside” venue will become the head office of the Combined Club, and all sailing activities will be run from there with exclusive access to members only. Just as Durban Beach Club will be a satellite venue for members, the current RNYC building will serve as a further satellite venue with a food and beverage focus, but which will also be open to a larger watersport membership. The revenue stream from this venture will accrue to the Combined Club.
- The Joint Sailing Committee is already in place and is thus far proving to be a successful venture. This is proof that constructive co-operation between the Clubs delivers immediate benefit.
Whilst this is a very brief summary of what has been achieved thus far, and it is expected that certain details will be considered in a negative light by some, it is hoped by both negotiating teams that objective consideration will reveal that just as negotiation always requires levels of compromise, so we will continue to enjoy the very necessary support from the Members in this venture. All questions and constructive comments would be welcomed. Members can be assured that no changes to Club structures can or will be made without their formal consent. The negotiating teams hope to finalise and present a model to the Clubs in the not too distant future, with the further hope that this will be accepted, allowing for a historic change for the better.
The League - Durban Summer / Winter Sailing Season: 24 October – 26 June
Eager Durban sailors will be hitting the water for the brand new L26 racing series simply called The League, that will take place both inshore and offshore over 20 Saturdays during the 2020 and 2021 Sailing Season.
Three series will be accommodated in The League, an Offshore Series, an Inshore Series and a Match Racing Series. The organising committee will endeavor to balance the number of races across the three series. The next race takes place on Saturday 24 October, with the boats lining up on a start line set in the bay.
There will be a minimum of one race to a maximum of five races taking place each day. Weather dependent, the race track will be announced by the Race Officer on the day of racing. The Inshore and Match Racing Series will more than likely have the quick-fire windward / leeward or sausage course, but the Offshore Series courses can be set a bit more creativity with loads of space to play around with. The number of laps for each race will be decided depending on the strength of the breeze on race day.
The League is the vision of the L26 Class Committee and is hosted by both the Point Yacht Club and the Royal Natal Yacht Club. The exciting series will test the waters in Durban before spilling over to the other provinces. The nifty L26 boat is one of the most popular keeler classes in the country, and up until recently, was the yacht of choice for the most prestigious sailing event in South Africa, the Lipton Challenge Cup.
Driving The League is Chairman for the KZN L26 Race Committee, Tim Attwell, who states with contagious enthusiasm, “The series will have a bit of a Top Gear or Tour de France feel where the leading boat will get to fly a leader flag. It could be the overall leaderboard flag or boasting victory from the previous race, winner of the last day’s racing or top junior, and for some added fun – a polka dot flag will be rewarded to the boat with the best starts on the day.”
“The L26 is a fantastic boat to learn on, and to glean racing experience. Our aim is to give the regular sailors an opportunity for some close one-design class racing, but also to encourage newcomers to this wonderful sport, in one of the best sailing venues in the world.”
A new development in Durban sailing, will be the inclusion of a digital software that will be run on all the L26s called RaceQs. This programme is making waves in the international sailing community and will achieve two things, provide inciteful training and post-race analysis, while allowing spectators to view the racing in real time from home.
Commenting on the future of sailing in Durban, Commodore for Royal Natal Yacht Club, Leo Kroone said, “Masakane. That is what I believe we all need to do to make our sport grow. We need to work together, plan and simple. The L26 is a beautiful boat to sail, and teaches you so much about team work and working together to get across the finish line. The launch of this fun and competitive series shares our vision of Masakane, which is hugely exciting for sailing in Durban, and South Africa.”
Commodore for the Point Yacht Club, Myles White shared, “This is a brilliant initiative organised by Tim and his passionate team. Witnessing our L26 youth sailors shouting with absolute glee as they sail past me on my dinghy, each weekend, is heartening for the class, for this series and for sailing. I look forward to watching it grow into a vibrant, national league.”
For more info or wanting to get involved, contact Shanee Davie on [email protected] or phone the Royal Natal Yacht Club on 031 301 5425.