President’s Report [23]

By David Winkworth

Hello everyone. If you were one of the many club members who came to our annual Rock ‘n Roll weekend at Patonga, you would have been less than impressed by the behaviour of a group of campers adjacent to our area. Although I managed to sleep through the worst noise on both nights, it was neverthless a 48 hour display of bad manners and lack of consideration for fellow campers.

Complaints to the ONE caretaker on duty in daylight hours achieved nothing. However, on return home we sent a letter to Gosford City Council – the owners of the caravan park – and the Patonga Progress Association.

We are still waiting for a reply from the Council but the Progress Association has informed us that 2 security guards are now stationed there from 9pm to 2m each Fri & Sat night.

This is perhaps a start towards 24hr on site supervision but many members were quite justified, in my view, talking of relocating the weekend training event this year. Tuross Lakes on the South Coast has been mentioned as a possible venue.

In spite of the disturbance, it was again a great training weekend with many paddlers achieving a quality roll and others getting very close … Keep practising!

Sea kayaking businesses continue to grow in South East Australia. Patrick Dibben operating ‘Natural Wanders’ on Sydney Harbour has quit his ‘daytime job’, as has Andrew Lewis, director of ‘Sea Kayak Australia’ which is based in Victoria. Both these businesses are now full time. They are responsible ambassadors for sea kayaking and deserve our support. Good luck guys!

If you have bought a leaky kayak recently, you have good reason to complain! The quality of boats on the market now, with one or two exceptions, is higher than it was 5 years ago. It is time for buyer resistance to put an end to poor quality workmanship! Kayak manufacturers ARE responding to paddlers needs. Outside taped seams on kayaks ARE available … Super-strong deckline fittings ARE available to customer wishes… ‘podded’ or minimum volume cockpits ARE available. To my mind, industry is responding to paddler’s wishes. We should support the businesses that give us what we want in boats. It can only improve the breed!

Last issue, I mentioned that Dirk Stuber stood down as Trips Convenor early in the Club year. I neglected to mention that Dirk has served on the Executive for 3 straight years prior to this one, two as treasurer and one as trips convenor. Thanks Dirk.

I took my family along to Nick Gill’s Honeymoon Bay Weekend at Jervis Bay last weekend. The Gods smiled on us and it was perfect weather for a family camp, which made a nice chance from the weather experienced on our last foray!

If you get the chance to attend a laid back ‘single base’ weekend…do so. It’s good fun. Isn’t that what sea kayaking’s about?

Go for a paddle!