Before Christmas we published a bumper edition of Tell Tales which highlighted the opening of our season by our patron, the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le.
On the Sunday before Christmas we had Carols by the Beach which, with 300 people on the lawns in front of the club, was a most successful community event.
Our club has just hosted Australian Championships for the NACRA catamarans and the OK dinghies and it was good to see local sailor Brent Williams finish second in a very competitive OK fleet. Comments from competitors, both local and interstate, confirm that ASC is internationally famous for its race management and organisation. We, as club members, are privileged to enjoy this high level of expertise every Saturday for our club racing.
After a week's rest our race management team will be back on deck to conduct the National Championships for the International Finn class beginning on Monday 18 January.
But before the Finns start we have a club race on Saturday 16 January.
We have more good news with Pete Inns and Joel Cultas, with some help from Sam Heritage, winning the Fireball Nationals at Lake Cootharaba and, in an extraordinary performance, Sam McCloud with Sam Flint and Mark Beaumont won the Sharpie Nationals at Sandy Bay in Hobart. This is the first Sharpie Nationals win by a club boat since Warren Henderson won in 1982.
Our club is a sailing club and it is wonderful to be able to report on these wonderful recent events but, as we reported to members in December, our club is in a very precarious financial situation. Your Board and Committee are very concerned about the seriousness of our predicament and have been working hard to address the problem. Several changes to the management structure have been introduced and we have heavily trimmed down our operation with a view to cutting costs. This has resulted in substantial savings but of course some services will need to be reduced and we will need to rely more on contributions from members. We need to engage with and work with our members during these difficult times and we feel that one of the best ways to do this is to be absolutely open and honest about our situation and what we are trying to do to improve it. If you can identify a task which you may be able to help with or if you have ideas or want more information, please talk to a Board or Committee member.
It is very pleasing to be able to report that our Bar and Bistro operation has gone from strength to strength over this holiday period and, incredibly, served a record 160 meals last Thursday night. This achievement was only possible because our dedicated staff, under the leadership of Ross, our executive chef and Lauren, our catering manager, are developing into a great team with the ability to perform under many varied conditions. Our meals are earning a much-deserved reputation for good food and good value and of course a great setting. We are pleased to report that this improvement in our Bar and Bistro operation along with the cost cutting measures have resulted in the stabilising of our Financial position.
Wendy Carter, who has been our dedicated and efficient office administrator for five years, finished her employment at the club on Friday and the club acknowledged her contribution with a small but very pleasant farewell function on Friday afternoon. We are now in the process of recruiting a new office person and we will keep our members informed of progress but in the meantime there may be reduced office services available.
We hope to see a good fleet for our first race of the New Year this Saturday. Don't for get the Finns who will be racing from Monday to Friday next week and don't miss out on some amazing dining at The Clubhouse.
From the Board and the Committee