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Commodore’s Update – 30 June 2020

Dear Members,

Another week with no video from me, as I’m recovering from a cold (tested and COVID-free!) and somewhat muffled. There is a video from Colin though.

GC met last Thursday for its June meeting and discussed the options for the resumption of racing at RMYS. Based on the advice from Australian Sailing and the state government’s proposed easing of the restrictions on competitive sport, Sailing Committee recommended that GC review its earlier decision to close racing until September 30 and to approve the resumption of our racing program on Wednesday 22 July, subject of course to any subsequent changes in government COVID-19 restrictions. This is consistent with the other northern Port Phillip Bay clubs. GC unanimously agreed to this. There was considerable discussion of just how best to re-start racing in a safe manner, but we considered that with appropriate planning, there was no reason why we should not resume then. More details on the upcoming race program and the associated COVID-related safety measures will be provided by Colin over the next few weeks, starting with his video presentation in this eBreeze.

 

We are very aware of the current increases in infections in Victoria and will be monitoring any changes in restrictions that may occur due to this increase, but we remain hopeful that the resumption of racing will not be impacted. We may well be able to have food and drink service at the clubhouse by then, but we will be deciding on whether to provide this closer to the time given the re-tightened restrictions on hospitality venues. GC’s view is that racing and sailing is the priority. GC was briefed by Dr Jim Lynch, Squadron Medical Officer, who made it clear that COVID-19 may be with us for a long time and that we cannot assume that a vaccine will become available soon, or even ever. Therefore, the Squadron needs to be planning not just for life after the virus, but also for the possibility of learning to live with the virus long term. Establishing and adhering to good protocols and practices now will set us up for a sustainable sailing future.

 

On other matters, GC approved Sailing Committee’s proposal to install a start light system on the tower. This will be a positive both for those racing and for our volunteers in the tower, providing a simpler and clearer way of communicating the start sequence. Sailing Committee also submitted the new On-water Safety Plan to GC, with the aim that it be endorsed at our next GC meeting.

 

The Finance Committee report showed that despite considerable impacts on our income due to COVID-19, the combination of careful budget management and successful applications for government assistance has maintained the Squadron’s stable financial position for now and FC is confident that this will remain the case for this financial year.

 

Due to the restrictions on large gatherings, the AGM (Saturday 8 August) will be held electronically, as will voting. This is allowable under ASIC rules and our constitution. The General Manager presented a proposal to conduct the meeting as a webinar and to utilise TrueVote software for voting. GC agreed to this approach. As this is the first time we have conducted an electronic AGM and voting, there was much discussion about how it will work and what we need to do to implement it. GC agreed that notices about nominations and other matters should be posted on the Members section of the RMYS website, as posting on the noticeboard at the clubhouse was now pointless. Direct emails to members will be used as normal for key communications (eg notice of meeting). It was confirmed that the voting system allows for proxies in a secure manner. Electronic voting would allow for voting to open well prior to the AGM and to be completed in time for the results to be announced at the AGM, so GC resolved that voting prior to the AGM would be allowed and that voting would close at 0900 on the day of the AGM. Details will be finalised this week so that all voting members can be notified of the procedure when the notice of meeting goes out.

Stay safe and see you on the water.

Cheers,
Charles Meredith, Commodore