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Greetings to all, and welcome to 2020. Pleasingly there has already been enthusiastic activity within the ski-boat, dinghy and keeler fleets, with associated social activities being planned. At the same time the Cape to Rio race is taking place, and I am enjoying monitoring the progress of team Zulu Girl Racing on CFM – the only Durban based boat in the race, but which has featured near the top of the leaderboard throughout the race thus far.

Congratulations to the “PYC Pirates”, ably led by Struan Campbell, who initiated the practise of expropriating an item of regalia from Zululand Yacht Club during the Sangoma Cruise, compelling them to return the courtesy of sailing to PYC, recovering their item, and in turn taking something of ours, requiring a return visit by us in the not too distant future. I look forward to this developing further.

A Social Committee is being formed – being a Club we need volunteers to join those who have already agreed to join this team, so if you are willing to contribute please let our Manager Darryl know, so that he can convene the team that is going to make our Club even more fun to be at.

While talking of progress – we anticipate the beginning of a new era for Point Yacht Club as we take occupation of our new beachsite, even if for the time being it is merely a rustic, empty shell.  We will however be customising the venue to members’ liking, and we intend developing it into a destination of choice.

Our plans have been submitted to the developers for approval, while we are expecting to be given possession of the venue with effect 1 February – plans approved or not.

For those of you who have already taken a walk along the new promenade, as well as having taken a look through the windows and gates into the parking areas, there can be no debate that it is a World Class Development.  There can also be no argument that what we will have going forward, will be completely different from the old PYC beachsite, with one of the most noticeable changes being the absence of a boat-park.  It must be noted that our neighbours, the Point Watersports Club, are facing precisely the same issues – not even one ski-boat will be accommodated, despite the ski-boat shelters having been a fixture at Vetch’s for decades before.

The reality is that all four of the Clubs who have operated from Vetch’s for many years have worked with the development company to achieve this world-class facility.  This will continue into the future as and when the next phases of building multi-story hotels immediately behind the promenade begin.

It has been a challenging and lengthy process and our thanks go to our PYC Beachsite Development representatives who put in countless hours to achieve what has been built today. These include Tony Alison and Rob Goulden back in the early 1990’s and then Gavin Smith and Rob followed by Nigel Milln, Rob, Campbell Alexander and Chris Clarke and then Rob and Nigel who handed over to Trevor Donald and Tony Alison who handed over to Dave Cuthbert and Craig Millar. Besides these loyal Club members there have been a number of members such as Billy Ellens and Sean Fennessy who have contributed in no small manner. We must retain and look back at the masterful architectural concept- sketches by Billy Ellens which recorded each step of the way. Special mention must be made of Rob Goulden’s contribution over the longest period when he rarely missed a beachsite related meeting and always made his viewpoint known.

Now Henri Frencken, standing on the shoulders of the work done by those before him, is leading the team to negotiate and implement the final concept and business plans and the fitting out of our new clubhouse.  Henri is no stranger to property development and his skills over the past few months have been invaluable. Many of his plans are being kept quietly under wraps until the big reveal, but what has been made known is that to achieve making our beach site into a destination of choice, we need to source around R2,000,000 in capital. Debates have taken place over how this funding can be sourced, with the result being that acting like a Club is going to be best.

In the near future all members will receive notification of a Special General Meeting to take place on Thursday 13 February, where one of the topics to be discussed and voted on will be this funding programme. In short, we hope to attract 20 individual members, or syndicated groups of members who are each willing to loan R100,000 to PYC specifically for the fitting out of our new beach site venue. Note, these will be loans, and not donations, and the intention is that they will earn interest for the lenders until repaid.

Please give serious thought to being a participant in this programme, and feel free to bring your questions to the SGM. The Beach Site and General Committees are highly confident that Henri’s plans will result in a venue that is highly attractive for existing members, and will also attract new members whose revenue will help to ease the cashflow strain that we have been under, while the new venue is expected to run profitably and be self-sustainable.

It stands to obvious reason therefore that PYC needs to be presenting a content, enthusiastic and united face to the public and prospective new members. Although not without challenge, we have exciting times ahead, so let’s make the most of them.

See you on the water!

Myles White