President’s Report [16]

By Patrick Dibben

We are drawing towards the end of our club year which finishes in August and it seems to have been a great year for the club.

Since last writing we have had an excellent talk from Paul Caffyn which was held at Canoe Sports at Narrabeen with around fifty people attending.

In the short time Paul had in Sydney he wanted to visit the Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour so on the Sunday he joined Bruce Easton, Alex Preema and myself for breakfast at my place. The Rainbow Warrior was at Darling Harbour so I arranged permission with Greenpeace and the Darling Harbour Authority to paddle to Darling Harbour, tie up to the Rainbow Warrior and climb on board for a tour of both the ship and the museum. It was a great day and I think Paul thoroughly enjoyed himself – he even got to paddle a Pittarak!

Paul went on to talk in Brisbane at Gail Austin’s shop where there were about ninety people present. My sister, who is a journalist in Brisbane, wrote an article which appeared the day before his talk in the Sunday Mail. After the talk Paul had a couple more articles in other papers and an ABC interview before returning to New Zealand.

We had quite a good influx of members since January and especially after the Paul Caffyn talk. On behalf of the club I would like to welcome Gordon Caswell, Rosalyn Cleworth, Deb Collins, Graham Cummings, Shantha David, Gary Edmond, Catherine Isles, John Isles, Richard McNeall, Ron Mudie, Peter Pederson, Ian Ranford, Richard Rees, Jacqui Shrimpton, Adrian van Bellen, Emma West and James Williamson. Apologies if I’ve missed anyone. The club now has just under one hundred members!

Our AGM will be held on the 21st of August at the Tambourine Bay Sea Scout hall when we will have another Paddle/BBQ/Talk extravaganza. This time we have Larry Gray – he will have a video and a tightly edited slide show of his travels including his Greenland trip. Not to be missed!

We will have the AGM just before our the talk at 5:30 pm. Please give some thought to standing for a committee position and if you need to know more or feel you have the time to help out in some way please give me a ring before the meeting. It has been suggested that people who would like to stand for a committee position could write something on what they would like to achieve for the club and this could be published before the meeting to help members decide on who they are voting for. This sounds like a good idea.

There was a minor drama for a while regarding our public liability insurance – the company that handled it had been undergoing a restructure/takeover and had not sent out the renewal notice until a couple of months after it expired. The renewal notice then had nearly a 100% increase in the fee! This would have forced a large increase in membership fees. I checked out the possibility and advantages of affiliating with another club to obtain cheaper insurance but this did not help. I then got quotes from lots of different brokers until finally finding one which specialised in sports insurance. We now have a policy through the Insurance Exchange of Australia which gives better coverage than before for the same cost. The underwriter is Union des Assurances de Paris (UAP), one of the largest insurance companies in the world.

Since we have not had a secretary since Ken Macdonald resigned I have been handling all the correspondence. As far as incoming mail goes and excluding membership enquires we have received only a few items to report on.

Peter Carter from the Investigator Canoe Club in South Australia has been sending copies of their newsletter and I wrote to him thanking him and giving him an update on our club. I will forward copies of our newsletter to him.

Darcy Ortiz from Canada has written seeking information on sea kayaking in Australia as he will be arriving in September and will spend several weeks in Canberra and visiting Sydney from there. I am forwarding a copy of this newsletter plus a personal reply. I have put his details in the Notices later in this newsletter so you can, if you wish, get in contact with him.

Earlier in the year I received a letter from Steve Hemsley with some suggestions on how to hold a Sea Kayaking race. He has some good ideas and if you are interested in organising a race then Steve would be a good person to talk to.

While I am not personally interested in racing sea kayaks I was thinking it might be fun to organise a City to Surf to correspond with the real City to Surf. Since the club cannot afford to provide effective support via rubber duckies etc for safety reasons participants would need to paddle in teams of, say three, and paddle together. Is anyone interested?

I have been in contact with Christopher Cunningham, the editor of Sea Kayaker magazine in the US and our club is now listed their clubs section. See the Notices section of this newsletter on how to subscribe.

I have also been in contact with the World Cleanup Day organisation. They were quite keen to have us involved. Is anyone interested in helping out on this or perhaps the next Cleanup Australia ?

David Winkworth is holding another Rock & Roll weekend in November, this time at Patonga near Gosford. There is a council camping ground there which is right on the water with both flat water and ocean. This could form the basis for a annual get together and if the shops are interested they could make this a trade show. Is anyone interested in helping organise this? I will make a group booking for the club for this campsite so let me know if you are interested in this ASAP.

I am organising a BBQ on Shark Island in Sydney harbour this coming Sunday (see the Trips List) so if you have any suggestions, ideas etc; you can catch me there otherwise feel free to ring me.