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Commodore’s Report March 2020

After our special GC meeting focused on COVID-19 issues a week ago (outcomes summarized in the special eBreeze last Tuesday), GC met last Thursday via video conference on its normal monthly cycle. In preparing this summary of that meeting, it was striking how much has changed in a month. My February meeting report contained no mention of the coronavirus. Since then, everything has changed at the Squadron and in all aspects of our lives. It is important we all get through this and that we can return to sailing and Squadron activities when we are able. So stay safe, focus on your loved ones and friends, and look after your own physical and mental health.

Regards, Charles Meredith, Commodore

What have General Committee been looking at this month

Much of the discussion at GC was around COVID-19 issues that were canvassed in last Tuesday’s special eBreeze – these are not repeated here unless there is a change to report.

GC will continue to meet monthly via video conference on its usual schedule. All sub-committees will also continue to meet monthly (also via video or phone) unless the chair considers there is not enough business to justify a meeting. They will nonetheless meet at least every two months.

Sailing

With sailing currently stopped, Sailing Committee is now looking at which races and events (e.g. presentation night) might be able to be re-scheduled once sailing resumes rather than cancelled.

GC resolved that the Sailing Safety Fee would not be charged in the period that no racing can occur.

Following Clio’s departure, Ron Brown has been appointed as coach of the Juniors.

Our Sailing Coordinator, Colin, is focusing on risk-related planning and policy, and is looking at options to improve the functionality of the race tower.

Administrative and Policy:

The office has been focused on dealing with responding to COVID-19 issues. The yard and marina remain open and Damien and Kuki remain on-site to manage these areas. We have had to stand down Amy, Jan and Sharon due to lack of work. They are still being paid their leave provisions and we are now exploring the new Job Keeper options. Colin, Jean (bookkeeper) and Matt are all now working from home.

Financial:

The Treasurer reported that our outcome for this financial year (which for RMYS ends today) was slightly better than budget. However, we anticipate a significant hit to our income in the coming year from the COVID-19 situation. We expect to be providing rent relief to RMSTA and food & desire, who have both been hit very hard by the shutdown requirements. Sundance yacht brokers have indicated that they wish to be released from their lease of the office in the yard – they suggested a replacement tenant and we are pursuing this option vigorously.

We are ourselves seeking rent relief from the City of Port Phillip in relation to the clubhouse and Parks Victoria in relation to the marina – we are awaiting responses. We are also actively pursuing the government assistance being made available to not-for-profit organisations.

Facilities:

The pontoon for our marina toilets is being fitted to it now and it will be delivered and in service in the near future, dependent on any future lockdown restrictions.

The work on plans for the clubhouse renovation has been put on hold. The meeting to put out the current concept for member discussion has been postponed. We believe a face-to-face presentation and meeting is by far the best way to do this.

Membership and Activities:

Membership Services have been investigating a member benefits package that could provide discounts and special deals for our members and this will go live soon. All members will be notified and invited to participate. There is no cost to members or the Squadron (other than a small initial setup fee), and all the benefits go to members (there is no kickback to RMYS!).

We hope to be able to ramp up on-line options for member communication and activities over the next two weeks, now that the urgent adjustments to the COVID-19 situation are largely in place.

Eight new members were nominated this month and were formally accepted by GC.

 

Take care, stay well.

 

Charles Meredith
Commodore